Noel Whelan believes James Ward-Prowse would take Aston Villa to the next level after it was revealed Southampton’s captain is interested in making the switch to Villa Park.
Villa were first linked with Ward-Prowse earlier this month with The Guardian reporting they were prepping a move. They were setback in their pursuit when the south-coast club were said to have insisted the 26-year-old was not for sale. However, they received new hope yesterday when it was claimed that the player is keen on the move.
Following on from the revelation, Whelan is confident that Ward-Prowse will be playing under Dean Smith next season. What’s more, he feels the signing would take the club up a level.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I’m not surprised he wants to move. Villa are showing real intent early on.
“I think the move will materialise, it’s happening. They have already got Buendia through the door so it really is exciting times for Aston Villa fans.
“If they can get James Ward-Prowse as well, another international, they could really reach that next level.
“He was very unlucky not to be in the England squad for the Euros. He would add serious competition for places.
“It would be a very exciting midfield if he was in there with Grealish, Buendia and McGinn. Time will tell if these signings are seen as replacements for Jack Grealish or not.”
Villa impressed with their early acquisition of Buendia when they beat Arsenal to the signing.
They’ve since added the vastly experienced Ashley Young to their ranks, who has returned to the club a decade on from leaving for Manchester United.
Chelsea serious on Grealish
Meanwhile, it is growing increasingly likely that these potential midfield additions would be playing against Grealish next season, and not with him.
Chelsea have a genuine interest in Grealish and are ready to battle Manchester City for his signature, according to Football Insider.
Grealish has gone from academy product to club captain at Aston Villa, who finished in mid-table last season. There is a feeling, though, that he could be aiming higher on an individual level.
Villa tied him down to a huge contract last year to ward off the likes of Manchester United. But now, their rivals Manchester City have been showing an interest.
And the queue for Grealish appears to be getting longer. According to Football Insider, Chelsea are serious about the England international and will push City for his signature.