Football

James Ward-Prowse is excelling in playmaker role

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James Ward-Prowse's move into a more advanced position has seem him become a key part of the Southampton team.

The 20-year-old has seven assists in 12 Premier League appearances this season, a figure which would no doubt be higher had he not missed a chunk of the action with a fractured foot.

That has seen the youngster touted for big things and a call-up to the senior England squad in the near future.

Set piece specialist

Ward-Prowse is also renowned for his dead-ball ability and he has taken control over the Southampton set pieces after Rickie Lambert's departure.

His corner at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day allowed Toby Alderweireld to score and his technique has been likened to that of David Beckham.

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The Hampshire-born star was also awarded with the best goal of the 2014 Toulon tournament whilst representing England.

Assist creation

Ward-Prowse has created seven goals for his teammates so far this season in the league, which has him one behind summer signing Dusan Tadic having played fewer games.

That has made him an integral part of Ronald Koeman's side, in the role just behind Graziano Pelle.

It should also be noted that no player under the age of 21 across Europe’s top five leagues has more assists than the Southampton play-maker.

More advanced position

That role has only been given to Ward-Prowse this season, having spent the majority of the 2013/14 season vying for a central midfield or wide role under Mauricio Pochettino which saw him create two goals in 24 appearances. 

The shrewd move by Koeman aims to harness the England under-21 international's ball-playing ability, whilst allowing the more physical Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin break up play behind him.

It is also a vote of confidence in the player by the Dutch boss as it is Ward-Prowse that Koeman has selected as his central creator and so far, he has stepped up to the mark.

If he is to continue in the same vain for the rest of the season, there is no reason why he can't force his way into the England squad ahead of the 2016 European Championships.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Southampton

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