2. James Ward-Prowse – Midfielder, Southampton
James Ward-Prowse is a player Aston Villa have been linked with in years past, and the Lions are reportedly targeting him once again this summer. The Englishman has scored 10 goals for Southampton in all competitions this season and has been a spotlight player for the club.
With Southampton heading to the EFL Championship next season, Ward-Prowse could be set to leave his boyhood club as his £100,000-per-week salary could be too expensive for the Saints.
Unfortunately for Villa, Ward-Prowse does not have a relegation release clause in his contract, so he will cost a hefty amount for any club if they wish to sign him. In 2021, Villa made a £25 million offer to Southampton that was rejected, and his price may have gone up since then.
The 28-year-old is attracting interest from West Ham and Tottenham alongside Aston Villa.
Ward-Prowse is considered one of the best free-kick takers in world football, and his lethal right foot could make the difference in close games for Aston Villa next season. The midfielder is in the 80+ percentile in expected goals and assists per 90, showing his creative impact on the field.