Ward Prowse made Southampton rise up

Ward Prowse made Southampton rise up

Ward Prowse made Southampton rise up

Ward Prowse made Southampton rise up

Ward Prowse made Southampton rise up

There was a time during the summer transfer window when it seemed James Ward-Prowse might be the latest in

a long line of Southampton academy graduates to leave the club in a big-money move.

After an impressive season which led him to the brink of England’s Euros squad  he was in the initial party but cut when

the final 26 were chosen – the 26-year-old was reportedly a transfer target for Aston Villa and Tottenham.

Saints fans could have been forgiven for fearing the worst. After all, they are only too familiar with losing their star players..

Alan Shearer, Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale are just some of the names to have shown promise on the south coast

before being tempted away.

But, rather than follow that well-worn route, Ward-Prowse bucked the trend.

A new five-year contract could extend his stay with the club to 15 years.

He will lead Saints out at Manchester City on Saturday having won over the fans and the manager.

Ward-Prowse grew up on the outskirts of Portsmouth – Southampton’s fierce south coast rivals and was showing promise

from the age of six when he stood out for East Lodge FC, in large part because of his ability to take a corner.

“He was always crossing during practice so I told him there was more to the game, but he’s done alright, hasn’t he?”

jokes Dave Hill, East Lodge’s chairman and coach.

Back then Ward-Prowse idolised David Beckham. It is perhaps not surprising that he has gone on to make free-kick

expertise a hallmark of his game to such an extent that Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl recently told BBC Radio 5 Live

that Ward-Prowse is one of the world’s best set-piece takers on that time.




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