Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Aston Villa Are The Favorites To Land This Southampton Playmaker: What Will He Bring To Villa Park?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to Birmingham Mail, United Kingdom bookmakers Sky Bet has made Aston Villa the favorites to land Southampton playmaker James Ward-Prowse this summer. Sky Bet has priced the Villans at 5/2 along with Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to acquire the services of the English midfielder during this summer transfer window (via Birmingham Mail).

Ward-Prowse’s Impressive Season In English Football

Ward-Prowse experienced another solid campaign with the Saints after putting in a series of consistent displays for them at the centre of the park. The 26-year-old registered nine goals and seven assists in 44 matches for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side last season across multiple competitions.

The English talent has performed well to average 2.0 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 1.4 clearances, 1.1 shots, 1.6 key passes and 1.4 crosses per game in the 2020-21 Premier League campaign. He was also excellent with his ball distribution after making 86.4% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Ward-Prowse has already established himself as a top performer at the St. Mary’s Stadium, so he might be tempted to switch clubs in search of some success in the coming seasons. However, the Villans could struggle to compete with Tottenham and Man United as they do not have the lure of European football to convince the player this summer.

Aston Villa are the favorites to land Ward-Prowse who is seen in the photo
James Ward-Prowse of England during the International Friendly, Länderspiel, Nationalmannschaft match between England and Romania at Riverside Stadium on June 6th 2021 in Middlesbrough, England Where: Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom When: 06 Jun 2021 Credit: Daniel/phcimages/Cover Images **NOT AVAILABLE FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS** PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxFRA Copyright: xDaniel/phcimages/CoverxImagesx 41484294

What Will The Saints Star Bring To Villa Park?

Ward-Prowse is proficient at keeping the ball moving at the centre of the park and can set up some inviting chances for his teammates in the final third. He is an excellent crosser of the ball which makes him a specialist from dead-ball situations in the opposition half. Ward-Prowse is primarily a box to box midfielder but can also fill in as an attacking midfielder or play as a winger down the right flank if needed.

The eight-time England international can chip in with some important goals and assists for his team from midfield and seems to be getting better with each season. Therefore, Dean Smith would be wise to engineer a move to bring him to Villa Park this summer.

Ward-Prowse is good enough to secure a permanent place in Aston Villa’s first-team and would be an upgrade over Douglas Luiz who struggled to find consistency with his performances for the West Midlands club last season. We can expect the Saints midfield ace to bring a lot of quality to Smith’s squad that might help them challenge for a European place in the upcoming Premier League campaign.

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