Southampton ace compares Ward-Prowse to England icon

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James Ward-Prowse has been central to Southampton’s excellent form this season.

The Saints skipper has played in every game this season as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have lost just three times.

They currently sit fourth in the Premier League table, just two points off leaders Tottenham Hotspur.

Ward-Prowse has played a key role in that run, too, scoring four goals and registering three assists.

Three of those strikes have been long-range free-kicks, and the 26-year-old is carving out something of a niche for himself as perhaps the best dead-ball specialist in the division.

Indeed, throughout his career, Ward-Prowse has scored seven direct free-kicks for the Saints and Theo Walcott, his team-mate at the club, believes that he is actually better at them than David Beckham.

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Walcott played alongside Beckham for England, and the Manchester United and Real Madrid legend became an icon with his free-kicks; he scored 36 in total across his entire career.

But the ex-Arsenal winger told The Sun: “After every training session I see James taking free-kicks.

"I just sit there and remember watching Beckham all those years ago. I always thought I should have got involved with free-kicks but he was just too good.

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“Now I see James and think, ‘You’re better.’ It’s just the way he adjusts his run-up and is always match-prepared. It is brilliant to watch and it is showing.

“He is always such a threat, especially when you have got us players running at defenders and trying to win free-kicks.

“It is almost like a penalty for him these days, a good weapon to have.”

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

This is a big shout.

But it’s definitely one that’s worth keeping an eye on.

Ward-Prowse is clearly a master of his craft when it comes to whipping the ball over the wall and into the back of the net but he will have to go some to score the same amount of free-kicks as Beckham.

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The ex-England captain scored his goals between the 1996/97 Premier League season for United and the 2012 season for LA Galaxy; he had a fair few games to notch in.

Ward-Prowse is still only 26, but he will have to go some to get anywhere near Becks’ numbers.

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