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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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Sanguin added 09:30 - Aug 8
I lose track of the players we’re supposed to scapegoat so I can’t remember if JWP is one of them or not, but I’d hate to see him go, especially for £10m. With Armstrong replacing Tadic, Elyounoussi replacing Boufal and Davis in the twilight of his career, I don’t think selling JWP now would be good for the squad. I’ll admit he’s never dazzled but he’s had some fantastic games and always seems to quietly get on with what’s required of him. I think he needs another season or two before considering any career change.

mikesaint added 09:36 - Aug 8
Best news Ive heard this transfer window is that Watford have made a £10million offer for James Ward-Prowse. Hope we bite their hands off for that much. To lightweight, cant tackle and to many sideway or backward passes.

BlackAngel added 09:46 - Aug 8
I'm not sure about this. Surely his assists via crosses, corners and free kicks have generated many more goals than the other remaining midfielders? I'd sell Lemina as he's not consistent enough and we'd get big bucks on the back of his occasional good game. Midfield is about hard work/graft and creating chances. Surely passing sideways is a reflection on our attacking prowess?

BuyEastleighFC4aBtea added 10:13 - Aug 8
In today's football figgers 10 million is an low ball offer! For a young home grown player. Remember we got 8 million for jose Fonte @ 33.
That said their no room for sentiment in football these days it's pure business. @ 23 JWP isn't a world beater! & we need world class players so sale him @ around 14
Sadly I predicted another tough season ahead of us! Our centre backs are not PL players we will leek goals! 50 plus

Jesus_02 added 10:30 - Aug 8
He doesn't have a winning mentality for me. He has good qualities and obviously works hard but he needs to get used to winning. Personally Id like to see him loaned to a championship team, it seems to have worked for Target. But I don't think that will ever happen.

Ali_Diarea added 10:32 - Aug 8
I think we should keep him for one more season but try to convert him to RWB to make use of his crossing abilities. He’s not good enough to dominate the midfield and drive the team forward, and that’s a massive shame for Saints and England. But then if he was he’d be worth £50m not £10m.

Ali_Diarea added 10:32 - Aug 8
I think we should keep him for one more season but try to convert him to RWB to make use of his crossing abilities. He’s not good enough to dominate the midfield and drive the team forward, and that’s a massive shame for Saints and England. But then if he was he’d be worth £50m not £10m.

helpineedsomebody added 11:19 - Aug 8
id sell mark hughes if not loan him out . jwp has his moments but i would keep him why well he has played better with much better managers & at 23 will get better, plus i think he is worth more than 10 million pounds.

davepid added 11:35 - Aug 8
Oh no. I would say keep him . He gives me and my group so much fun at every free kick he takes from just outside the box predicting whether it will hit the post, the woodwork or just go narrowly wide. He never did quite bend it like Beckham .

IWOZTHERE added 14:37 - Aug 8
I haven't got a big 'downer' on him but for me he epitomises what's been wrong with our play for a couple of seasons. He stifles momentum.... As for his outstanding dead ball delivery.... It looks excellent, but how many actual assists is he credited with from all those corners and free kicks??? I'd let him go, but for another 4/5m. Targett and McQueen moves still alive apparently. I suspect £14m for Targett might be a temptation.

BoondockSaint added 14:46 - Aug 8
Another frustrating player. He has talent. You keep hoping each year that this is going to be the one where he blossoms. Probably myself and others are a bit too critical of him because every time he stepped up to the ball, the "pundits" would claim he was the second coming of David Beckham which was not realistic or fair.

Nick is right in saying he is a bit too nice. Opposition players just muscle him off the ball, hell, even his own team mate, that little shite Boufal, attempted to bully him off a penalty until a bigger team mate stepped in to give Boufal a shove and took the ball off him for JWP..

I always thought he needed to get into the gym in the summer. But this has not happened under the last two managers (no surprise). Maybe this might change under Hughes?

While the pundits rave about him, it is indicative of how the talent scouts of the Prem rate him in the fact it is Watford that has come calling. If he was anywhere near as good as the pundits claim, Les would have shipped him off to the Scouse years ago.

As BuyEastleighFC4aBtea says, if we got 8 million for Fonte, 10 million is too low. If that is all we can get, loan him out and get him a gym membership. He's still young.

SanMarco added 20:46 - Aug 8
I wouldn't be particularly sorry to see him go but 10m is low in this day and age - and will he really want to go to Watford?

zonehead added 05:31 - Aug 9
Always frustrating I'd see Gabby make his run forward and JWP just wouldn't see him instead he look sideways and pass to Redmond!

perazi added 09:29 - Aug 9
I think it is time JWP tried his luck elsewhere. I cannot remember a more hyped Footballer (not his fault) who delivered so little. He has been tried as a CM, AM, RW and RB and made little impact during the 6-7 seasons at Saints. Can't see it happening though, I doubt there is a genuine bid.....Saints look likely to start the season with a very mediocre attack; let's hope for a result v Burnley.

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