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Of All The Southampton Transfer Rumours, There Is One To Worry About !
Wednesday, 9th Jun 2021 09:02

This is what I refer to as the silly season, the first month of the transfer window, when shed loads of players are linked with Saints and indeed all clubs, but most are just agent talk and media rumours made up to drive page hits, but there is one Saints rumour that I am very concerned actually has foundation.

Usually I pay little heed to the rumours in the media during May & June, few deals actually take place as players will not move until they have collected their loyalty bonus from their current soon to be former club.

That leads to a phoney transfer window where most of the rumours flying around have little substance, usually placed in the public domain by agents keen to stir up business for July when cash firmly deposited in bank accounts, the real business can begin.

However that is not to say they are all false and the real rumour that worries me this summer is the one about James Ward Prowse to Aston Villa !

Why you may ask, well the frightening reality is that I have heard this one from some very good sources and I heard it a month ago before the season just gone had actually ended.

For obvious reasons I can't say too much about who told me, suffice to say it was not someone from Southampton Football Club, but I could trace the path of the rumour down the line and it worried me that this actually had substance.

At the time I said nothing, I thought that in a deal of this size there would not be leaks of this nature, but sure enough what I had been told soon came into the public domain.

So why is this worrying ? Well the truth is that Aston Villa seem to be looking to kick on next season, they have already confirmed an agreement to sign Emi Buendia from Norwich City for around £35 million and it doesn't look like that it will end there.

But the big question is whether in these times of financial trouble that Villa may have to sell to buy and if they are after James Ward Prowse then they may have to sell Jack Grealish to do so.

Indeed Grealish could be the key as to whether this move will actually have any legs, if Grealish was to stay at Villa, then it would be an attractive move for Ward Prowse, especially after his England snub, with Gareth Southgate's Villa connections and bias towards Villa players such as Tyrone Mings and Ollie Watkins, the latter a player with a worse goals per game ration than Danny Ings but still in the squad for the Euros ahead of our man, JWP might see this as a pathway into the England squad.

As I say if Grealish stays then Villa could be a real power in the premier League next season and with a good shot at 7th place.

But if Grealish needs to be sold to buy James Ward Prowse then that changes the picture, that means Villa don't have the money to push on a level, they could just as easily drop back down the League as how quickly they moved up it from a year ago when they survived on the last day.

But the Premier League is still pretty much a closed shop in the top 6, West Ham have got in this season but will they be able to repeat that next year, likewise Villa, their fans see last season as a real success, but truth is that it was 11th place, the same as we finished the season before, we ended up only 4 places behind and we also had the FA Cup semi final, I would still rather have had our season than theirs.

Ward Prowse has given us good service , he has been in the first team squad now for 9 seasons, he has played in 269 Premier League games for the club and he may feel that approaching 27 now is the time for a move.

He will perhaps feel that he owes Saints nothing, certainly he will look back only a couple of years ago when he was not exactly appreciated by some of the supporter base and perhaps consider that another who got a hard time was Matt Targett and how he after leaving the club has flourished at Villa Park.

Football is a fickle game, before Ralph Hasenhuttl arrived at St Mary's there were few Saints fans who thought JWP had a future at the club.

So this transfer rumour worries me, not just because of the sources it is coming from, but because it could be an attractive move, not just from the footballing perspective, but financially for the player.

But my hope is that if James Ward Prowse has ambition he will see that Aston Villa is a step up, but ultimately it is not the step up he craves, European football is far from guaranteed at Villa Park , from this perspective he was nearer glory with Saints last season than he would have been at Villa Park.

I wouldn't exactly call a move to Villa a step sideways, but it is hardly one forward either, a shuffle at best.

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HythePeer added 09:12 - Jun 9

IanRC added 09:29 - Jun 9
Hasn’t he recently signed a contract extension ?

DorsetIan added 09:48 - Jun 9
If I was JWP, aged 26 and having just missed out on Euros place, I would be thinking hard about the next few years.

And, yes, I would be thinking about where I might go and the players that I might be playing alongside but I would also be thinking hard about my own club and its ambitions.

Sitting on the sidelines, many of us have got the distinct impression of a club, if not in decline, certainly doing no more than tread water at the moment. JWP will have a much closer view of all that and will also have had the experience of having had to work hard as a player this season to make up for the deficiencies or inexperience of some of those around him.

The question for me is can Saints show JWP that it has the ambition to match what he now needs for this stage of his career?

sandywelsh added 10:05 - Jun 9
Cant see Ward-Prowse going to Villa why would he? They are no better than us and surely he would only leave us to join a top team. He wont have to worry about Gareth Southgate not picking him because after England fail in the Euros again he will be sacked.

Sanguin added 10:42 - Jun 9
JWP not getting the England call up is terrible for us. He'll be thinking about this options over the next few years and it suggests to anyone thinking about signing that it's difficult to get an England call up at Southampton.

Ward-Prowse is arguably our best player and I'd say he'd world class. He's talismanic and I'd hate to see him go. But I think the club would find it difficult to refuse if the right offer came in and JWP wanted to go. We have a lot of talent in the centre of midfield and some exciting young players that could make the step up in the next couple of years.

I can't see him choosing to go to Aston Villa though, however much money and however ambitious they might be.

sfc1971 added 10:43 - Jun 9
If JWP thinks going to Villa will get him in the Eng team due to Southgate bias, He`s a silly boy. Southgate will be gone in a few weeks, he is way out of his depth!

wessexman added 11:20 - Jun 9
We are now seeing the culmination of a disinterested owner who is unwilling to invest, a transfer policy based on arrogance and ignorance, a pigheaded belief the academy produces when it is clear it does not, and a series of bad managerial appointments. We have now signed Walcott, who...let us be honest, has not produced, given Harry Lewis another year, rumours about Minamino refuse to go away and we are now in talks with a defender who was part of a defense which conceded 66 goals with Brest. Stephen has been given a long term contract. I was in the Stadium that night we beat Swansea to stay the skin of our teeth. It very much looks like we'll have more of the same next season.....a battle to stay up. If true, JWP has a chance to better himself in a professional sense and financially. JWP, Ings, Armstrong and maybe Adams are the only sellable assets in our squad. The rest is bang average. Ralph did wonders by keeping us up but he has seriously lost the plot as well. We should all be worried about this JWP rumour. .....

I_would added 12:03 - Jun 9
Don't worry everyone there won't be a single bid coming in. Wait and see. And as far as being a talisman, I didn't see much good luck this last season.

claus5 added 12:49 - Jun 9
Good to see your negativity back "i would", really missed it!

Colburn added 13:22 - Jun 9
I think Prowsey has proved that he can play a good role in a better team than us, judging by his England performances recently. It perhaps also shows how much weight is on his shoulders here. Sadly, I think Villa are a better team than us, on the up, and we are at best, as someone has mentioned, treading water. Our ownership situation is a disaster and we have zero ambition. If we get £35-40 million for JWP, we should take it if we can reinvest all of it. I still believe that Jankewitz and Diallo have ability and need to be brought through. If nothing else, they both have more pace than JWP.
I would imagine Ralph is looking closely at this option because we are about 5 or 6 players short at the moment, given we have one full back and need 4 ideally (not 4 right backs though!)

davidargyll added 13:58 - Jun 9
I used to think this column was mostly factually based. But this really does take the biscuit!!!
What a complete load of boll*cks!!!
Why on earth do you give any credence whatsoever to this absurd rumour? Have you not got anything else to do until next season, Nick?
Why oh why would JWP want to leave the captaincy of his boyhood club, let alone to join one of the most overrated ones in the league? There is only one way Villa are going and JWP would be a complete idiot - which most assuredly he isn’t - to even contemplate such a move, even if there was a grain of truth in it.
Grealish - and John Terry for that matter - I would say are a million times more likely to move away than Villa are to tempt JWP.


Sadoldgit added 14:01 - Jun 9
The club said that he is not up for sale. Why say that if he is? He has still got a number of years on his contract and he is a crucial player for us. I can’t see him going anywhere this coming season, least of all to Villa.

saintsfanbrock added 14:26 - Jun 9
Why Nick do you always pretend to have all these incredible sources “ I have heard this one from some very good sources and I heard it a month ago before the season just gone had actually ended.” I am sorry but who would tell reliable information to someone who creates essentially a fan blog. You did the same thing about the potential takeover last summer indicating that you already been filled in on it, why would the club or a party involved in the takeover bother telling you pre-emptively? If they wanted to release the information to the outer world they would do it in the usual way by a club/company statement or by leaking It to the media.

Stop pretending you aren’t a finding out this information by looking at the same media sources as the rest of us. All of this - “I already knew about it from a reliable source” (that you have clearly made up) just makes the gullible think there is more credence to the rumours than when just reading them on the original source which we all know to take with a pinch of salt.

Be what you are supposed to be, a summariser of all of the media reports about the club, to save the rest of us time in inspecting every article and stop pretending to be some sort of hard hitting investigative reporter.

underweststand added 15:43 - Jun 9
Only die hard Villa fans and Prince William would give credence to this type of "story".

This time of the year the media abounds with rumours, fake news, inuendo and plain lies
bolstered by greedy agents, hungry journos and schoolkids who run a football blog from their bedroom PC and many others follow them and "the Big Lie" becomes even bigger.

I don't see JWP going anywhere, least of all to Villa. There are a number of the rich clubs in the top five who would be first in the queue if he were to move. Does the presence of Matt Targett meant to lure JWP to Villa Park?, where (let's face it ) he'd be playing second fiddle to Jack Grealish's ego.
If JWP holds his fitness and incredible performance form he may well move at some future time, but I don't see that happening any day soon. Gareth Southgate had two chances to select JWP for England and having turned his back on him yet again may live to regret that decision if England fall at the first hurdle.


perazi added 23:15 - Jun 9
Beat up of a story fro a writer with a lot of form for ingrained opinions dressed up as factual Football analysis.

Ward-Prowse won't go to Villa - nor any other Club for that matter. Let's get real, JWP has improved his game immeasurably in the last 18 months or so. His work rate, energy and record of playing every minute of every game is to be applauded. He also has a fantastic dead ball technique which needs to be separated from his all round midfield game.....which is that of an average middle-of-the-road Prem Club. No team in the top 6 is going to go after him. He is in his comfort zone with us and with good players around him can help Saints stay in the top flight longer.
As for England failing in the Euros because of his absence.?? Unless we are talking about a set piece goal or free kick, he hasn't got the quality of general game to influence a result at the top level. Southgate gets that.

ElijahK added 23:24 - Jun 9
I mean what have these rumours come down to these days!? What’s next, Auguro to come to Saints, Ings to join Bournemouth, Zaha to join us (which I thought was going to be what this was about from the picture)!? As it’s all just a complete load of pure BS!

Like I’ve already said previously, the ONLY WAY Prowse will leave any time soon, is simply if we get relegated or a proper top team (like the champions league teams for next season) come knocking for him! As why the hell would Prowe wanna join a team that only didn’t get relegated last season because of a goal line mess up! And even now, are barely ahead of us, whilst the club he’s currently at he’s the captain for, gets to take all the set pieces, and basically gets everything he wants! As I can’t see him going anywhere unless a proper top team come knocking, and Villa don’t even get near to what qualifies as that! As yeah we might have a completely shit owner, and not have that much ambition but Villa ain’t that far ahead!

KohSamuiSaints added 13:59 - Jun 10
As you can tell I’m not living in England so all of the transfer news and things I read on the Internet ….Firstly JWP has more loyalty to Southampton FC than a lot others have had , and I think would only think of moving to a regular top 4 club than a top 6 …
But I would like to know that after the club announced an interest in Celtic’s Ryan Christie , Why do we not just arrange a deal with them that includes Celtic keeping Elyounoussi and Forrester in a straight swap deal ..?

schatfield added 20:50 - Jun 10
Why wouldnt he go to Villa? Im sure JWP is looking forward to Saints fans back at St Marys booing their own players soon enough!

KohSamuiSaints added 12:05 - Jun 13
Well said a totally 100% agree with you ….
I think Nick might be getting a few quid from players agents to start such BULLS..T rumors …
I am approaching my later years after being a Loyal Saints fan watching for 50 years now … I am in Koh Samui Thailand now and rely on what’s printed and when I read about us trying to sign a player I still get excited about it … Only to later read or never hear of the mentioned player again…
The same Nick thinking that posting about an American Billionaire was going to buy Southampton FC and put a new tier at St Mary’s and give Ralph a massive transfer Kitty was his impression of an April fools joke … THAT REALLY HURT.
Just for a couple of hours that story changed my life …
I believed our time had come after so much we have been through over the years….
Now the penny has dropped and I personally think that Nick should stand down from his position because he can not be relied on to give us the die hard true Southampton FC supporters the truth , I would rather read one of his posts that was truthful, Than 10 posts that are Nicks idea of a joke or doesn’t feel like he’s being paid by agents to post BULLS..T.

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