Have Southampton got the next David Beckham on their hands?

Southampton Football Club

Is James Ward-Prowse the next big thing to come off the Southampton conveyor belt of talent?

Southampton FC has recently become the hotbed of young British talent. The likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Nathan Dyer are now Premier League regulars - while Gareth Bale is now the world’s most expensive player.

So it is no surprise to see new talent shining through. Adam Lallana has been tremendous for the club this term, while Luke Shaw is already looking like one of the best left-backs in the league this season. Even Callum Chambers has performed well at right back, and captained England Under-19s the other night.

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But the one who is seemingly slipping under the radar is James Ward-Prowse - despite bearing remarkable playing similarities with an English legend who never slipped under a radar once in his career.

The modern day football fan might say there is no space for a David Beckham in your team these days. Well tell that to Fabio Capello, Carlo Ancelotti or Leonardo - because they would have him back in their sides in a heartbeat.

Sure he was never the fastest, and slightly one-dimensional - but he was effective.

For me Ward-Prowse is also these things, although I believe a more multi-faceted player than Beckham was at his age.

His stamina is superb for one so young, and his tireless working is aided by the high press game-plan installed at St Marys by Mauricio Pochettino .

As for his dead-ball proficiency, well unfortunately ‘Whip it like Ward-Prowse’ doesn’t have the same ring as ‘Bend it like Beckham’ but it doesn’t mean his delivery is any inferior.

His corners have been of the highest calibre this term, and he showed off his ability from free-kicks with an effort for the England under-21s against Lithuania yesterday - his first goal at that level.

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The 18-year-old has all the attributes Beckham had at 21 but at a younger age, and still has to grow both physically and mentally before he can really begin to be analysed.

But in my mind, and many a Saints fans, there is no doubt that James Ward-Prowse could be as good as, if not better than Beckham one day - and be an England regular in his footsteps.

Can JWP become the next David Beckham?

image: © ingythewingy

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