Remarkable stat: James Ward-Prowse rivals Angel Di Maria in key area

Angel Di Maria Argentina

The Southampton midfielder has already made his mark since returning from injury, even rivaling Manchester United's £59.7 million signing in one key area.

After Southampton's 1-0 win at Manchester United on Sunday afternoon, things could not be better for Ronald Koeman's side.

A first win at Old Trafford for 27 years was rewarded by the Saints leapfrogging United into third place in the Premier League. What could supporters possibly get more excited about than that?

Well, from a team perspective, nothing. But, when it comes to their individual stars, the statistics provide fans with something just as thrilling.

Indeed, James Ward-Prowse, the 20-year-old Southampton midfielder who only returned from a long-term injury last month, rivals Manchester United's world-class star Angel Di Maria when it comes to his average assists per game.

Di Maria, a £59.7 million signing for Manchester United this summer, averages 0.46 assists per game - Ward-Prowse just 0.01 less.

  TeamAssists (per game)Minutes Played
Cesc Fàbregas Chelsea 0.7 1,777
Ángel Di María Man Utd 0.46 939
James Ward-Prowse Southampton 0.45 771
Oscar Chelsea 0.41 1,334
Leighton Baines Everton 0.4 1,800
Gylfi Sigurdsson Swansea 0.4 1,676
 Southampton Squad AssistsMinutes Played
Dusan Tadic 7 1,513
James Ward-Prowse 5 771
Ryan Bertrand 2 1,800
Steven Davis 2 1,542
Sadio Mané 2 934
Graziano Pellè 2 1,862

As Opta stats show, Ward-Prowse's remarkable contribution in the mere 771 minutes he has played since returning to fitness ranks him as the third-best creator of goals in the Premier League on average - a smidgen behind Manchester United's leading man.

And, when it comes to total assists, the 20-year-old is only two behind much-raved about Southampton team-mate Dusan Tadic this season.

What a superb impact the young midfielder has made already, then. Who needs Di Maria?

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