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Aston Villa In For James Ward Prowse But It Could Be Catch 22
Saturday, 31st Jul 2021 09:20

Aston Villa have been rumoured to be after James Ward Prowse for a while now and have finally revealed their hand with a £25 million bid which has been immediately rejected by Southampton, but the key to the deal could be Jack Grealish.

Villa have already broken their transfer record this season and indeed this is the 3rd summer in a row that has been the case as they strive to re-establish themselves as a force in the Premier League.

But it is not all one way traffic into Villa Park as just as it came out they have bid for Ward Prowse it was also revealed that Manchester City are mounting a £100 million bid for Jack Grealish.

But if Grealish leaves Villa then it may give them a lot of money to spend, but it makes them a lot less attractive proposition to getting truly great players.

If he stays then they will be more attractive, but do they have the money to turn themselves in to a top 10 team on a regular basis.

In short it is catch 22 for Villa.

As bad as Saints were in the second half of last season, there was not a lot of difference between Villa and Saints, we destroyed them at Villa Park and lost by a single goal at St Mary's , although the truth is we were robbed by a couple of appalling VAR decisions.

Villa are now trying to spend big in order to kick on, but so are Everton and several other clubs who have not managed to sustain a top 10 place, not to mention Spurs and Arsenal who are realising the Big Six is now history and it is a Big Four and in Cycling terms they have been dragged bac into the peloton.

For James Ward Prowse Aston Villa will be an attractive proposition, both financially and from a footballing perspective if Villa can maintain their progress.

Interestingly, while Manchester City and Aston Villa remain negotiate the transfer of Jack Grealish, his agent, Jonathan Barnett also has Ward-Prowse listed amongst his portfolio of players that his agency ICM Stellar Sports manages.

This is perhaps not good for Southampton FC or for that matter Aston Villa initially, Barnett will be keen to move his client up to true superstar status with Manchester City, but having pocketed his end of the deal, he will be keen to then increase his earnings by engineering the transfer of James Ward Prowse to newly minted Villa.

But the truth is spending money does not guarantee success, Villa like Leeds or indeed Wolves of the past few seasons and Saints 5 years ago could find out that sustaining success is not easy, you make a breakthrough and the big guns come a calling for your top players and you are back to square one as someone overtakes you.

Next season is the World Cup, James Ward Prowse will be looking to get back into the England squad, at St Mary's he perhaps has the best chance to do that, doing a job he knows well, at Villa Park it may be a little more uncertain in how he fits into their side.

The problem for Saints is that this is nothing about ambition, it is about footballing reality, unless you are Manchester City there is someone always richer than you in the Premier League and this in itself is a catch 22 situation, ultimately Man City aside it is about having a large fan base and milking it, Villa will always be bigger than Saints whilst they have a bigger ground and bigger support and the ability to utilise that commercially.

A player will always leave a club, the only question is when, for Saints it is not about selling a player it is about replacing him.

Photo: Action Images

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saintmark1976 added 10:00 - Jul 31
Nick, “ we destroyed the at Villa Park”. That would be the game where we were four goals to the good with twenty odd minutes to play and let in three goals to hang on for a win at the death would it? The same game where Ralph left Ings on despite our four goal advantage only for him to sustain an injury which dogged him for the rest of the season?

Saintly_Mix added 10:09 - Jul 31
The agent situation is a concern, but as you say, if Grealish goes, Villa aren’t particularly attractive.
A £25m bid for Prowse is an insult considering they paid £33m for Buendia.

SaintNick added 10:11 - Jul 31
That would be the game, we were 4-1 up with 30 minutes to play and in charge till they got a coule of sift goals due to a lac of concentration, I agree with you about leaving Ings on, but it didn't impact on the win. We destroyed them for an hour, were comfortable for 30 minutes and the lost concentration for injury time

SaintNick added 10:13 - Jul 31
Saintly Mix, spot on they have set the benchmark, £33 million for a player with one season of Premier league experience so Ward Prowse with 9 seasons and at his peak should be around the £50 million Arsenal have paid for Ben White who mde his Premier League debut last september

underweststand added 10:27 - Jul 31
The first hint of this deal surprised me when the name of Villa was mentioned.
The fact that both Grealish and JWP have the same agent makes more sense, although it's hardly a giant step-up in level - is it? Villa are as dependent on Grealish as Saints are on JWP. Both clubs will lose their biggest talent who will be hard to replace.

Saints still have the upper hand because Prowse's contract runs for another 3 years, but the thought of playing for a "bigger club" may encourage Prowsey's hope of a World Cup spot next year...especially has England didn't take one decent free kick in the Euros and JWP does know how to take penalties.
The derisory £25 million offer in this market is a joke, and we can only hope that another club might want to join the auction and we can get a better final deal.


saintmark1976 added 10:42 - Jul 31
“ they got a coule of sift goals due to a lac of concentration” . Any chance of a translation Nick?

Good to see that we are in agreement in regard to Ralph’s strange decision to leave Ings on. Perhaps didn’t alter the result on the day but didn’t exactly help for the rest of the season did it?

KriSaint added 13:55 - Jul 31
Selling JWP who has developed so much under Hasenhüttl would be suicide. I don't care the potential big money we might receive for him - he should be untouchable for at least an other year.
Also - his entire family, which seem very important to him, is based in Southern England. Can't see him move far away from his 'family area' and especially not to a club like f*ck*ng Villa.

derbydog added 14:37 - Jul 31
Football economics rarely make sense, but can someone explain how Villa can ask £100M for Grealish and then offer £25M for JWP? I accept that our player is not worth as much as theirs, but only a quarter?? That makes no sense. If JWP fancies it then surely even he would be insulted to go fir less than half of Grealish’s value. And our player protects his shins properly…

mattthelegend added 19:45 - Jul 31
Sadly we can’t compete financially with Villa, i am sure I read they have the third wealthiest owner in the premiership?

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