By Sam Stone

27th Jan, 2023 | 10:10am

James Ward-Prowse to walk into West Ham United starting XI - Alex Crook

TalkSPORT reported Alex Crook has suggested Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse would walk into West Ham United’s starting eleven.

The Hammers were eying a summer move for the England international (Claret and Hugh, 17 June) although it was suggested they would have to pay upwards of £70m for the 28-year-old.

Ward-Prowse has been in scintillating form in the 2022/23 campaign. The Telegraph have even suggested (16 January) he is now “world-class” after putting in performances similar to Kevin De Bruyne.

Crook has since claimed the 28-year-old will surely leave St Mary’s if the Saints are relegated, with Tottenham, Chelsea and Irons being possible destinations.

“If Southampton go down, surely it will be the time for James Ward-Prowse to leave the South Coast and what level of club does he go? I think he’d be good at a club like Tottenham. I think he’d be good as a backup at a club like Chelsea and he could walk into a club like West Ham,” said Crook (talkSPORT Breakfast, 27 January).

“Surely he has to make that move away.”


Ward-Prowse cannot be playing in the Championship and considering the amount he’s done for Southampton over the years, it’s unlikely they will stand in his way if they are relegated.

Furthermore, there is absolutely no way they will be asking for £70million. He’s one of the Premier League’s best technicians, but realistically he’s now past the age where he can command a huge fee. If West Ham do survive, this is a move they should be looking to pursue.

The Hammers’ midfield is somewhat one-dimensional at present and more creativity is required. Tomas Soucek has been a good servant for a number of years but his performance is potentially declining. Furthermore, if Ward-Prowse did join the Irons it could entice Declan Rice to stay at the club just a little bit longer.

Rice’s future has always been a talking point at the London Stadium and surrounding the midfielder with quality could temp him to have one more season with West Ham.