Adam Blackmore has dropped a big update on the future of reported Aston Villa transfer target James Ward-Prowse…
What’s the talk?
The Radio Solent journalist has stated that the Southampton midfielder will not be leaving the south coast before the end of the transfer window.
He tweeted: “After the last 24 hours with Ings, Grealish, etc., and all the crazy gossip that goes along with it, it’s probably worth reiterating the point I’ve made previously, that Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse is going nowhere in this window.”
Aston Villa are interested in signing the England international this summer and have reportedly already had an offer of £25m rejected by the Saints.
Is this a blow for Villa?
Fans will be fuming
Aston Villa fans must be fuming with this update as it appears to rule out what would be a terrific signing for the club. Ward-Prowse is a proven Premier League performer and would be a superb addition to Dean Smith’s side, which is why supporters will surely be upset that he is now set to stay with Southampton.
The Englishman played every single minute of the Saints’ league campaign last term, averaging an excellent WhoScored rating of 7.07. He provided eight goals and seven assists from midfield, whilst also making 3.1 tackles and interceptions per game.
Of all the Villa players to feature in 10 or more Premier League matches last season, only Ollie Watkins (7.18) and Jack Grealish (7.56) managed higher average ratings than Ward-Prowse. This shows that the 26-year-old could come in at Villa Park and be one of the better performers at the club, as he has already shown that he can perform to a high standard in the top flight.
At the end of last season, Saints head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl called him “outstanding”. 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.”
This highlights Ward-Prowse’s quality at Premier League level and why he would surely improve Villa’s side. Therefore, supporters will be gutted over this update from Blackmore, with the midfielder now looking likely to be playing for Southampton rather than Villa in the 2021/22 campaign. It is now down to Johan Lange and Smith to identify alternative targets before the end of the transfer window.