England Watch: Youth Edition

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Southampton’s James Ward Prowse is a classic product of their famed youth academy – under the guidance of Ronald Koeman, the youngster could be in for a brilliant season


There was perhaps no better moment than the minute Ronald Koeman took the job at Southampton.  For James Ward Prowse, it was a chance to work under a manager who places value and faith in  the development and utilization of young talent at his disposal.  Already one of the best at brightest at the club, JWP was already tipped for big things, but under Koeman, that potential could rise exponentially.

JWP’s performance at the weekend in Southampton’s spirited 2-1 loss at Liverpool was really quite good.  He was very lively going forward, linked the midfield to the attack quite well, and apart from debutant Dusan Tadic, really made the Saint’s attack tick throughout.

For a more in depth opinion, let’s turn to our resident Saint Ross Bramble for his take on why young Prowse deserves massive amounts of consideration;

"“When you think about him, his biggest strength is his set-pieces.  We all know about those now, but I have been watching him for tw0-three years, and the improvements he has made on those deliveries is staggering.  You have not seen a better set-piece taker in England since David Beckham.   The best part about his set-pieces is that they are starting to translate into his crosses from the run of play; they have the speed, dip, swing and accuracy we need to get people in behind with players like Sturridge, Sterling, Rodriguez, Welbeck or whomever we lead the line with. He’s not exactly a commander in midfield in terms of captaincy or personality, but he’s a calming influence on the ball, able to thread a pass and set an attack on it’s way when his teammates run out of options; he’s pretty tricky in possession too – not quite Lallana/Tadic tricky, but competent enough to handle most situations. His long shots are improving and he’s slowly starting more matches, so when he can add goals to his dossier, himself, Barkley, Sturridge and Sterling NEED to be starting for England – that’s as good an attacking quartet you’ll ever see for England in the foreseeable future. He probably reserves to be selected for a few friendlies so Roy can see him in person and see how he could fit in, but would I call him up to the squad today? Probably not.  By Christmas time he might well be ready if Koeman gives him the playing time, but if I were Roy, I’d be putting the feelers out in friendlies with the intention to take him to the Euros.”"