Campbell: Aston Villa can mount top-6 challenge with Ward-Prowse signing

Aston Villa could mount a serious challenge on the top six if they sign Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse this summer.

That is the view of former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the possibility of the 26-year-old swapping St. Mary’s for Villa Park.

The Guardian claim the Claret and Blues have set their sights on signing the Saints captain in the upcoming transfer window.

However, it may prove a difficult task as the Daily Mail report Southampton will not sanction an exit for the midfielder who has four years remaining on his current contract.

Ward-Prowse enjoyed the best campaign of his career to date in 2020-21, with eight goals and seven assists in 38 league appearances.

When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs for his assessment of Ward-Prowse’s future, Campbell said: “What a player he is.

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“If they sign him it is a clear statement of intent that they want to push the top six next season.

“At the back end of the season they fell away. Jack Grealish got injured and they weren’t quite good enough to capitalise on their games in hand. They could have finished in the European spots if he hadn’t got injured but it shows their lack of depth.

“Defensively they are good and going forward they are good so if they strengthen their midfield and get some depth they could qualify for Europe next year. They could really kick on.

“Ward-Prowse is a proven Premier League player. He had a great season.

“I’m sure Dean Smith is thinking about how good he is at set pieces and how many free-kicks Jack Grealish gets.”

In other news, Paul Robinson names the Aston Villa player who’ll ‘benefit massively’ from Buendia’s arrival.