Sunday, June 26, 2022

Journalist Urges Aston Villa To Move In For This English Midfielder: Good Option For Smith?

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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.

In a recent interview (via Give Me Sport), renowned Midlands journalist Luke Hatfield urged Aston Villa to move in for Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse. Hatfield said,

“Do they (Aston Villa) need someone like a Ward-Prowse? I still think they do need something. Someone who can naturally maybe cover the back four, but also offer a serious set-piece threat because Ramsey’s an all-action midfielder who’s been exciting to watch but in terms of a goal threat, is he carrying much of one? Whereas with Ward-Prowse, for example, whenever there’s a dead-ball situation, you know that he’s a real, real threat.”

Ward-Prowse’s Excellent Form At St. Mary’s Stadium Last Season

Ward-Prowse experienced another solid campaign at the south coast of England recently as he continued to flourish as a key playmaker in Ralph Hasenhüttl’s midfield. The 26-year-old registered nine goals and seven assists in 44 appearances for the Saints last season across all fronts.

The English midfield ace deserves a lot of credit for averaging 2.0 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 1.4 clearances, 1.1 shots, 1.6 key passes and 1.4 crosses per game in the previous Premier League campaign. He even distributed the ball with conviction after making 86.4% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Ward-Prowse has made a positive start to this campaign as well after scoring one goal and grabbing two assists in six matches for Southampton across all competitions. Hence, there is no doubt that he will make an immediate impact at Villa Park if Dean Smith decides to secure his signature.

Journalist urges Aston Villa to move in for Ward-Prowse who is seen in the picture
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

Is Ward-Prowse A Good Option For The Villans?

Ward-Prowse is a specialist from dead-ball situations as he can whip the ball into the opposition penalty box with a lot of pace and power. Hasenhüttl has successfully transformed the English talent into an all-around midfielder over the past couple of seasons.

The Saints star can get stuck in with some solid tackles to disrupt the opposition’s flow in the game at the centre of the park. He can time his challenges well to earn possession back for his team. Plus, Ward-Prowse has got the vision to pick out a killer pass in the final third and can also score a handful of goals from midfield.

A player of the Southampton skipper’s skillset will be a good option for Aston Villa as he will improve the quality of Dean Smith’s first team considerably for the long run. Ward-Prowse is currently playing at the top of his game and could go on to form a solid midfield partnership with John McGinn at Villa Park. Hence, Smith should think about moving in for the England international when the transfer window commences in January or at the end of this campaign.

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