It’s little wonder that James Ward-Prowse is currently one of the most coveted players in the Premier League, with the talented midfielder and dead-ball specialist arguably keeping Southampton afloat over the course of the last couple of years.
Now entering his prime years at the age of 27, Ward-Prowse has been linked with a host of clubs, including Liverpool, Manchester United, Spurs, Newcastle and West Ham United.
However, Southampton have slapped a £70 million price tag on their prized asset, as a way of deterring any potential suitors from making a bid. For the Hammers, this is more than double what they’re willing to pay for Ward-Prowse, meaning that the midfielder would have arguably to force a move for the Hammers to get their man.
But what would Ward-Prowse bring to the Hammers, and is he the answer to their lack of depth in the centre of the park?
James Ward-Prowse – What do the Numbers Say?
Ward-Prowse has undoubtedly improved his game and performances during the last two seasons, contributing 30 goals and assists in 74 EPL appearances since the beginning of the 2020/21 campaign.
Last season, the midfielder struck 10 goals (including four from direct free-kicks) and contributed five assists, while also completing 1,827 passes and creating eight big chances for his teammates.
His shooting accuracy of 44% is also impressive for a midfielder, particularly one who adopts a box-to-box role and also has a great deal of responsibility in the defensive third.
From a defensive perspective, Ward-Prowse completed 41 tackles during the 2020/21 season, winning 59% of these. He also won 95 duels throughout the campaign, while completing 259 ball recoveries and making 40 interceptions in total.
Ward-Prowse even managed to block 16 shots last term, further highlighting his work-ethic and willingness to put his body on the line for the team.
Why Ward-Prowse Would Suit West Ham
Currently, the England international is around 10/1 to join West Ham from the Saints, and you can use the Betcoin new bonus code to access a free bet and wager on the Hammers to get their man.
He would certainly add immense value to David Moyes’s side, with the Scotsman keen on deploying a 4-2-3-1 formation that features two hard-working, box-to-box players in the middle of the park.
Ward-Prowse would fit this bill perfectly, with his defensive strength, eye for goal and ability to create chances (both from open play and set pieces) enabling him to slot in seamlessly alongside either Declan Rice or Tomáš Souček.
He would also provide genuine strength in depth, particularly with the legendary Mark Noble having now retired and Alex Kral returning to Spartak Moscow at the end of his loan spell. West Ham are certainly a little short in this area, leaving them exposed if either Rice or Souček suffer an injury.
Above all else, Ward-Prowse has significant Premier League experience, making him the ideal addition to the West Ham squad this summer (so long as the price is right).