Over the past few weeks, Villa have been linked with many players, some more likely to join than others, of course. One of the names potentially linked with a switch is James Ward-Prowse, currently of Southampton, of course. So, why are we linked with JWP? What would he bring to the side?
Well, many of you may know Ward-Prowse as the excellent free kick taker that he is, but the former England international has solid underlying numbers.
In terms of passing, Ward Prowse may not have incredible pass completion, but does however have better than average pass completion in short and medium ranges, so it's far from a problem! Aswell as this, JWP is in the 88th percentile for assists amongst players in his position and puts up similar numbers to that in Expected Assists.
One metric I pick out when looking at players is % of dribblers tackled, meaning of course, what percentage of players that attempt to dribble past him, are tackled by JWP, if that makes sense... so, in that metric, Ward-Prowse sits in the 80th percentile. The reason I believe this metric is so important is because stopping dribblers is crucial to stopping attacks, especially counters, which is a key aspect of a central/holding midfielder's game.
The obvious aspect to his game, free kicks, is of course a great attribute to have! JWP scores 0.21 goals per 90 (91st percentile) and his top of the range free kicks are a contributing factor to that!
Ward-Prowse has only played for Southampton at senior level, could it be time for the Portsmouth-born 26-year-old to move on?
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