James Ward-Prowse is Jordan Henderson’s ideal replacement, says Garth Crooks
Ward-Prowse produced a stellar performance in Southampton’s 2-2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday (24 April). The Saints found themselves 2-0 down just before half-time and desperately needed some inspiration to turn things around.
The 27-year-old emerged as the team’s messiah and scored two goals on either side of the half-time break to secure a point for Southampton. He scored his first through a free-kick in first-half injury-time, sending the away fans into a frenzy.
In his column for the BBC, Crooks has acknowledged Ward-Prowse’s herculean effort. Hailing the Englishman as a special player, and the “perfect replacement for Jordan Henderson” at Anfield, the 64-year-old wrote:
“When you’re 2-0 down away from home at half-time you had better have someone special in your team capable of turning the deficit around otherwise the game might as well be over. Fortunately, Southampton have James Ward-Prowse, who seems to have the ability to dig the Saints out of almost any hole.”
“His two goals against Brighton were timely as they were beautifully struck. Southampton will do well to hold on to this player. He’s got so much more to offer and would make the perfect replacement for Jordan Henderson at Liverpool.”
Ward-Prowse, who plays as a central midfielder, has a natural knack for being in the right place at the right time. In 32 Premier League appearances, the Southampton academy graduate has scored nine goals and provided four assists, emerging as the team’s standout performer. He is also a free-kick specialist, as was evident against Brighton.
James Ward-Prowse could be the latest Southampton player to thrive at Liverpool
Liverpool have signed players from many top clubs in the country. However, if we had to pick their favorite hunting ground, we would have to go with Southampton.
The Reds have signed several notable players from the Saints in the recent past, but their last two acquisitions have been nothing short of world-class. Sadio Mane (2016) and Virgil van Dijk (2018) have been era-defining signings for the Merseyside giants, helping them to Champions League and Premier League triumphs.
Ward-Prowse could become the latest Southampton alumnus to join the Anfield outfit, and we believe he has the qualities to be an outright success. With Henderson, 31, slowing down a bit, his compatriot could come in and strike a partnership with Thiago Alcantara and dominate opposition midfielders at will.
The England international is currently valued at €32million (via TransferMarkt) but still has over four years remaining on his current contract with Southampton. Liverpool could have to spend north of €50 million if they want to get the player on their books next season.