Owen 'mega impressed' with Southampton star Ward-Prowse's set-piece skills

Michael Owen

The 20-year-old played a key part in the Saints' demolition of Aston Villa on Saturday.

Former Liverpool and England striker has lauded Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse's set piece abilities, describing them as 'as good as it gets' during BT Sport's commentary of the Saints' impressive 6-1 win over Aston Villa.

Ward-Prowse was just one of a number of Southampton players that caught Owen's eye, but he couldn't resist praising the youngsters distribution from free-kicks and corners.

"I think he’s [Ward-Prowse] as good as it gets for set pieces," he told BT Sports. "This fella, I just love the way he whips in a ball.

"I’m mega impressed with his set pieces and I have been for a while. He really takes a risk. It’s ok if one goes wrong every now and again.

"He lands things on a sixpence, he puts the ball in the danger areas."

Ward-Prowse put in a number of dangerous deliveries during the match, with Graziano Pelle and the Southampton defenders a particular threat nearly every time the Saints won a free kick or corner.

He still has just one goal to his name in the Premier League, having scored from the penalty spot against Hull last month.

Below are Ward-Prowse's creative statistics for the season, and for the minutes he has spent on the pitch, only Charlie Adam has a better number of accurate corners this season.

  PositionTeamGoal AssistPassing AccuracyGoal Assist SetplayAtt Assist SetplayBig Chance CreatedAccurate Corners IntoboxAccurate Freekick CrossAccurate CrossAppearancesMins Played
James Ward-Prowse MF Southampton 6 87.58% 2 13 4 18 5 29 24 1447

Roy Hodgson has already praised the England Under-21 midfielder, in quotes from the BBC, making it clear he will consider Ward-Prowse for selection after this summer's European Under-21 championships, and if the 20-year-old can just add some goals to his game, something he has managed for Gareth Southgate's side where he has 4 in 15 matches, then there is no telling how good he can become.

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