Former Premier League player Paul Merson has urged Aston Villa to target Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse this summer.
The Englishman has been in fine form for the Saints this season. He has scored seven goals and provided four assists in 28 Premier League games from midfield.
He has been instrumental for Southampton over the years and his impressive performances saw Villa offer him £25million last summer (per SkySports).
The 27-year-old turned down the chance to join the Villains at the time. But Merson believes they should target the midfielder again, telling Sky Sports (via DailyEcho):
“The midfield (Aston Villa) is not bad but I would try to get a Ward-Prowse. I played at Villa Park. Tim (Sherwood), he was the manager there too. It’s a big pitch I think you need someone who’s a good passer in midfield, who can spray the ball around. I don’t think they have anyone who can spray the ball around. I think someone like Ward-Prowse is one of the best in the business at doing that.”
Ward-Prowse has tremendous talent on the ball when it comes to picking a man. He has also become the league’s leading dead ball specialist and regularly intervenes with brilliant free kicks.
He is currently the all-time Premier League player with 13 free-kicks. He is four times ahead of Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo in third place.
Should Aston Villa sign Premier League midfield dynamo James Ward-Prowse?
Aston Villa currently have Douglas Luiz and James McGinn in midfield and the duo possess tenacity and defensive know-how. But they don’t possess Ward-Prowse’s passing skills as he can open up a defense with his fantastic vision.
Potentially bringing the England international to Villa Park would be a wise move for manager Steven Gerrard.
The only stumbling block may be player preference. He is Southampton’s captain and star and has enjoyed his time at St Mary’s having progressed through Saints academy.
He also signed a new contract after the Saints rejected Villa’s offer for the midfielder, keeping him at the club until 2026.
But Gerrard is beginning to build an impressive squad at Aston Villa, with the addition of Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne.
The Villains have looked vulnerable in midfield this season and sometimes lack the killer passing Ward-Prowse is known for.
Transfermarkt currently values the midfielder at £28.8million. However, that fee is likely to increase after a hugely impressive season for the Englishman.
https://www.sportskeeda.com/football/one-best-business-paul-merson-urges-aston-villa-snap-premier-league-star?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda ‘One of the best in the business’ – Paul Merson urges Aston Villa to snap up Premier League star