By Callum O'Connell

18th Sep, 2023 | 2:58pm

Lee Dixon gushes over 'really intelligent' James Ward-Prowse and West Ham United transfer decision

Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon was full of praise for West Ham midfielder James Ward-Prowse after his performance against Manchester City, as he saluted his intelligence as an “underrated” player.

Dixon spoke about how, even if you were to take away his prized asset of free-kick and set-piece ability, you would still be getting a top-quality player, with his game intelligence heavily admired.

Ward-Prowse has had a brilliant beginning to his career at the London Stadium, with two goals and three assists in just four appearances for the Hammers as he continues to impress fans and neutrals alike.

Speaking on The 2 Robbies Podcast on NBC Sports’ YouTube channel, Dixon gushed: “I think we talked about him in the show yesterday about, forget his free-kicks and his set pieces, just look at his tempo play,

“how he sets the tempo, his passing, his moving into space, he’s standing in space when he’s there, he doesn’t have to move.

“He’s got a brain on him, he’s really intelligent and I think that run you’re talking about to get the goal, you know that’s an intelligent run.

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“He has to see that space, he has to wait his time, he doesn’t go too early otherwise he’s seen.

“I forget off the top of my head, but you look at the transfer fee and that’s underappreciated as well. They got him for that?”

A match made in heaven

After his blistering start to the season with West Ham, it has become abundantly clear why David Moyes was so keen on seeing Ward-Prowse come into the club after his previous side Southampton were relegated from the Premier League.

The opportunity was presented to the Hammers boss to begin what has proved to be a match made in heaven, with the midfielder fitting in perfectly with his style of play, while also providing an added bit of quality where it may otherwise have been lacking.

Moyes’ summer recruitment drive, alongside technical director Tim Steidten, has already been paying off at the London Stadium, with Ward-Prowse brought in alongside Edson Alvarez to replace the void left by Declan Rice, and West Ham fans must have forgotten there were ever any concerns.

As well as the intelligence Dixon speaks of, it’s difficult to discount his set-piece prowess which is also a huge part of Moyes’ setup, as well as his leadership developed through captaining Southampton for years, all of which has combined to create an ideal situation in East London.

In other West Ham news, Alan Pardew has heavily criticised one West Ham player for what he did pre-Man City.