Aston Villa had an outstanding summer transfer window, bringing in the likes of Ashely Young, Axel Tuanzebe, Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia, and Leon Bailey to boost Villa’s ranks. Although Villa lost their talisman Jack Grealish to Manchester City for £100 million, Dean Smith’s squad looked strong heading into 2021/22 season.
The last piece of the puzzle for Smith’s exciting squad could have been Southampton’s captain James Ward-Prowse. Unfortunately, as reported by Sky Sports, a late £25m bid for the 26-year-old midfielder was rejected by the Saints. They were never interested in parting with their captain after losing prolific striker Danny Ings, also to Villa. They also value the English international way above Villa’s £25m bid.
Ward-Prowse signed a new five-year contract with the Saints, but as reported by GiveMeSport Villa reporter Luke Hatfield, the Saint’s midfield maestro remains on Smith’s wish list and another bid could be launched in the next summer transfer window. He said:
"“It could be one they revisit if Southampton struggle this season or if they were to go down after losing some key players. He’s obviously a fantastic player and Villa were very keen on him but things didn’t pan out.”"
Aston Villa to rebid for James Ward-Prowse next summer transfer window
Ward-Prowse has been astonishing for the Saints in the past few seasons. One of the best set-piece specialists in the Premier League, a midfielder with great vigor and vision, and an eye for goal.
According to Transfermarkt, he racked up 9 goals and 8 assists in the 2020/21 season, including an extraordinary performance against Villa in which he scored a brace of free-kicks and bagged an assist. He also became the first Premier League player to play every second of two consecutive Premier League seasons in 2021.
Despite his impressive form, the Saints’ captain missed out on a spot in Gareth Southgate’s final squad for England’s Euro 2020 campaign. However, he looks forward to challenging for a spot in the upcoming 2022 World Cup.
Ward-Prowse’s future highly depends on Southampton’s performance this season. With the departure of key players like Ings, Ryan Bertrand, and Jannik Vestergaard, Villa will lookout to benefit if the Saints suffer a poor season. A fresh bid from Villa could be on the cards for the midfielder next season.