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Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse set for long-term deal

Newly-captained James Ward-Prowse rumored to be set for a new five-year deal at St Mary’s.

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Southampton FC v Sheffield United - Premier League Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Previously reported by the Telegraph’s Mike McGrath, Saints captain and academy product James Ward-Prowse appears set to receive a new five-year deal with the club ahead of the 2021 campaign.

After taking the captaincy from the rumoured soon-to-be-departed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse captained the squad to a run of 18 points in their last nine matches, with five wins, three draws and only one loss, including a seven-game unbeaten run to end the campaign.

With five goals and three assists last season, he played a large role in the club’s turnaround mid-season leading from midfield, playing every minute of every match of the 2019-20 campaign.

Ward-Prowse continues to develop under Ralph Hasenhuttl’s tutelage, and is one of the Premier League’s best free-kick takers, being tied for ninth all time in the Premier League for free-kicks scored with six. His accuracy in passing has continued to improve, averaging just under 45 passes a match this season. He also led the squad in tackles (92 for seventh in the league), and touches (2,521 for 15th in the league).

Speaking about the club’s season as well as the outlook for next year, he said:

“We wanted to finish strong and start building a platform for next year. I think it’s always been the club’s goal to break into that top 10. As a Saints player, this is the most excited I’ve been in a very long time to be part of this team. We’ve got a manager who has got us playing in a really exciting way. We are developing all the time and as a player that’s all you want to be part of.”

Ward-Prowse is just one the latest examples of the club’s phenomenal academy products in the Premier League, and with a future locked in at St. Mary’s, Saints fans can hopefully look forward to further progress from the young midfielder for years to come.

With the rumored recent signing of Mohammed Salisu from Real Valladolid, and newer ones regarding the potential of pursuing American midfielder Weston McKennie from Germany, Saints look to be throttling up their transfer window in order to contend next season.