By Alex McLeish

10th Jun, 2021 | 11:58am

Ex-manager excited as Aston Villa reportedly plot 'spectacular' Ward-Prowse bid

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse would be a “great signing” for Aston Villa, according to Alex McLeish.

The former Villa boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 26-year-old had been a “spectacular player” for the Saints.

The Guardian report (June 6th) Villa are set to launch a bid for Ward-Prowse this summer as Dean Smith looks to bolster his midfield.

The midfielder has four years left on his contract at St Mary’s after he signed a five-year deal last summer.

McLeish insisted Ward-Prowse had everything to become a “top footballer” moving forward.

He compared the Saints star to Rangers and Northern Ireland ace Steven Davis.

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McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “I think that would be a great signing.

“He has been a spectacular player for Southampton. Even being brought into the England squad in certain moments because Southgate knows him really well. He’s a dead-ball specialist too.

“We spoke about Steven Davis a few weeks ago. He’s (Ward-Prowse) another midfielder who knows his way around the pitch, knows how to get on the ball, pass it, control it…

“He’s got all ingredients that depict a top footballer.”

A graduate of Southampton’s youth ranks, Ward-Prowse played every minute of the Saints’ 44 games during the 2020/21 campaign.

He has a total of 322 appearances under his belt for the south coast outfit, 269 of which have come in the Premier League.

Villa currently have the likes of John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Marvelous Nakamba and Morgan Sanson to call on in midfield.

The Villans confirmed the signing of Emi Buendia from Norwich City on Monday.

In other news, Football Insider can reveal what Jack Grealish has told friends about quitting Aston Villa.