Is It Time For James Ward Prowse To Leave St Mary's
Wednesday, 8th Aug 2018 09:06
Watford have allegedly tabled a £10 million bid for James Ward Prowse, the question is whether it's time for the midfielder to move on.
Saints are packed solid in the central midfield area, aside from James Ward Prowse, they have Mario Lemina, Oriol Romeu, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg, Steven Davis & new signing Stuart Armstrong all competing for at tops three positions, not to mention several youngsters looking to make a breakthrough.
It is going to be tough for JWP to be a regular in the starting line up, although he can also play out wide when needed.
So if Watford are serious about the bid then both JWP and Saints are going to have to give it serious consideration.
James has been a first team regular now since our return to the Premier League when he surprisingly made his league debut in August 2012 in the seasons opener at Manchester City.
Since then in his 6 full seasons for the club he has racked up 92 Premier League starts and 72 further games as sub scoring 10 goals in the process plus another 38 games in other competitions.
The question for the club though is whether its reached to right time to sell, certainly Ward Prowse has never quite reached the heights predicted for him, it is almost as if he seems too nice, he just doesn't have that ruthless streak that would make him take a game by the scruff of it's neck and rule the midfield.
He has all the qualities to do just that, he can pass a ball and he can hit a free kick, but he just hasn't done it enough to truly make himself indispensable to the team.
At times he has looked on the verge of it earning an England cap back in March 2017, but since then he has never looked like adding another.
It is a dilemma for Saints, he is a valued member of the squad and offers good options, but sometimes you have to take the money and run to allow others to come into the squad, turning 24 in November he is at a crossroads in his career.
Also there is the fact that Mark Hughes looks like he doesn't see him as a starter, in the run in last season he was relegated to the bench and that has also been his role in pre season as Hughes formulates his starting midfield.
In truth at this moment in time he is at best 5th in a six man pecking order with only Steven Davis behind him.
From his own point of view James has to consider whether staying at Saints might actually hamper his career rather than aid it, having been a first team regular since age 17, he s perhaps suffering what many home grown players do, the crowd having watched him develop haven't really appreciated how much he has come on in his six years in the team, he will always be seen as up and coming, whereas if he made a fresh start, his new club and fans would see him for what he is now, it's always easier to drop the home grown players and to get on their backs and not appreciate them than the big money signings.
But if he stays and fights for his place in the team perhaps it could stir up that ruthless streak in him, perhaps his place in the squad over the years has been too easy, now he truly has to battle for his future and like Pierre Emile Hojbjerg a year ago, sometimes a big kick up the arse metaphorically speaking makes you raise your game to new heights.
So both player and club have big decisions to make should the Watford bid be firmed up, £10 million though in my opinion is too cheap, in today's inflated market it has to be more than that to make it worthwhile for Saints, at £10 million we would be better keeping him for this season.
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