Carlton Palmer has offered his opinion on whether or not James Ward-Prowse would be interested in joining Aston Villa…
What’s the talk?
The former Premier League midfielder has suggested that the Southampton captain would be tempted by a switch to Aston Villa this summer. Dean Smith is reportedly keen on snapping the England international up in the coming weeks and Palmer believes that they are a club he would like to join.
The former England international told Football FanCast: “If you’re being linked to Aston Villa, it’s an exciting time. It’s a young team with a great management team in Dean Smith and John Terry. It’s a club you’d want to go and join.
“He loves Southampton but if you’re ambitious, you want to go on and be the best you can. He’ll want to claim international honours and that’s only going to happen if you’re playing for a strong side.”
Should Villa sign Ward-Prowse?
Lange must strike
Johan Lange must strike and pounce on any potential doubts in Ward-Prowse’s desire to stay at Southampton this summer. If there is even the slightest suggestion that the midfielder could be convinced to ditch the Saints and join Villa, Lange must explore every possible avenue to bring him to the Midlands, as he could be a terrific addition to Smith’s squad.
Ward-Prowse is a proven Premier League-quality midfielder who is heading into the peak of his career at the age of 26. He has played more than 250 games in the English top flight and has averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.87 or higher in each of the past three campaigns, exceeding 7.06 in two of them. This shows that he has the consistency and ability to be a top player at this level, and that is why Villa would benefit from his arrival.
Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl lauded Ward-Prowse as “outstanding” at the end of last season as the midfield maestro was named the club’s Player of the Year for his impressive efforts throughout the campaign.
The Austrian told the Daily Echo: “It’s not surprising for me, a player who played every minute this season is unbelievable.
“His physicality and his performances are outstanding. That’s our captain on the pitch and he is on the way that he is a very important player for this club for the long term, I think.”
John McGinn managed the highest WhoScored rating out of all of Villa’s central midfielders last term with a score of 6.88. Douglas Luiz, his main midfield partner, achieved a rating of 6.67 and comparing them to Ward-Prowse highlights the improvement the Saints skipper would bring to the side. The £75,000-per-week beast earned an eye-catching 7.07 rating whilst scoring eight goals and setting up another seven, which is more than McGinn and Luiz combined.
Therefore, he could provide a significant step-up in regards to Smith’s central midfield options. This is why Lange must pursue a deal for the Southampton man and do all that he can to prise him away from St Mary’s ahead of next season.
AND in other news, Aston Villa must act swiftly to sign £40m beast, he’s “Drogba-esque”…