Everyone involved with Southampton FC will be preparing for life in the Championship next campaign, following their recent relegation from the topflight. The Saints enjoyed an eleven-year stay in the EPL and nobody epitomises the club more than the captain himself, James Ward-Prowse. The midfielder has been at the Saints since the age of eight, yet the two-decade spell at his boyhood club looks set to come to an end this summer given the number of Premier League clubs who wish to acquire his services.
James Ward-Prowse Player Profile
When James Ward-Prowse (JWP) is a topic of conversation, his set-piece expertise is almost always mentioned. Whether it be from corners or free kicks, JWP has mastered the art of dead ball delivery and he now ranks second for the most free kick goals in Premier league history, scoring seventeen overall. The twenty-eight-year-old’s technique allows him to whip the ball with pace and power, with only a slight touch needed for the ball to hit the back of the net, which ultimately causes panic within the opposition’s box.
Due to Southampton’s lack of managerial consistency and tactical approach last season, Ward-Prowse has been utilised in a number of roles and systems. He has featured as a right sided central midfielder in a 4-4-2, part of a midfield trio in a 3/5 back system and as an advanced midfielder ahead of a double pivot in a 4231 variant.
There is no doubt that JWP is a tidy player who provides ball retention, but he doesn’t excel in ball progression which is key for all top sides. Furthermore, his defensive output is average for a Premier League midfielder, but he does rank highly for shot creating actions which often come from those set pieces. Southampton’s captain started every game this season which highlights his consistency and reliability, he also scored nine goals and registered four assists.