Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse has received a big blow after England manager Gareth Southgate experimented by using Trent Alexander-Arnold in central-midfield.
England claimed a routine 4-0 win over Andorra on Sunday and took a step closer to confirming their place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but the use of other midfield options ahead of Ward-Prowse could hint that he has his work cut out to get back in future squads.
Alexander-Arnold’s creativity from full-back has always seen him tipped for a move infield and he is surely capable of a switch in the future. However, strong form for Saints should see Ward-Prowse rewarded if England are to prove that they select players based on their displays rather reputation.
To date, Ward-Prowse has eight senior caps for England and was overlooked for the Euro 2020 tournament that saw the Three Lions lose the final to Italy on penalties.
More international chances for Ward-Prowse now could help Southampton out
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Saints fans rejoiced when they heard that their captain had signed new five-year deal at St Mary’s this summer and the contract has seen a big financial commitment from the club. According to the Athletic, Ward-Prowse has seen his salary raised to £100k per week – a figure that makes him the club’s highest-paid player.
He will continue to give his all at St Mary’s and is still the heartbeat of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team but he will be wanting to get chances at international level.
It has been proven in the past that players who move to one of the big six clubs in England get more recognised by the national selectors. Ward-Prowse, Saints and the club’s fans will hope that it does not come to that in this situation.
Perhaps the key here is success for Saints. If they establish themselves as a team on the verge of challenging for European places again, Ward-Prowse may get more national recognition.