James Ward-Prowse has started this season in a strong fashion, playing a big part for both England U21 and Southampton. When I first watched the young player I found it difficult not to draw comparisons to David Beckham.
He has mainly been used wide right for Southampton, but has also logged some game-time in the middle of the pitch and his main strength stems from his long range passing, much like Beckham himself.
The player has started 11 games for Southampton this season, coming off the bench 6 times. In that time, he has created 30 goalscoring opportunities and recorded 2 assists. The most impressive part of his attacking play is his long ball accuracy, which is amongst the best in the Premier League.
59 long balls attempted with a remarkable 40 finding their target, which clearly shows he is a player with incredible vision and he can be a key to opening up even the most militant defence. Aside from his long ball statistics, he is statistically the best crosser of a football in the Premier League, hitting 44 accurate crosses. Liverpool's Steven Gerrard is the second best in the league with 30, which means despite the much less game time he has still hit 14 more accurate crosses than the England legend.
Although the player is yet to record a Premier League goal, he has shown for the England U21s that he has the potential to being a goalscoring threat. He has netted twice in his 6 appearances with his best goal coming from an absolutely stunning free-kick vs Lithuania.
See the goal below..
Although very young and still progressing, it's remarkable that England may finally have a David Beckham successor within their hands, and Manchester United would be amiss not to take a look.
image: © sachab