Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse has been called up to the England squad after an injury to Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
The 26-year-old will be hoping to add to his eight international caps in upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.
Ward-Prowse has been a consistent presence for Saints this season and, after a revealing interview with Hampshire Live recently, fans learnt that he has had to overcome injury and illness to keep turning out in the Premier League.
He is set to miss the next three top-flight games for Saints after being sent off at Chelsea but looks set for some good minutes for England in this international break as other alternatives struggle with injuries.
Southampton’s Ward-Prowse gets chance to push ahead of others again
Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice look to be in Gareth Southgate’s first-choice line-up each time he prepares for another England training camp. They were ahead of Ward-Prowse for Euro 2020 and have been since.
Perhaps the biggest blow to the Saints captain came when Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was trialled in midfield back in September – a position that he has never played before and another options who was seemingly ahead of Ward-Prowse in the national pecking order.
However, Alexander-Arnold and Phillips now miss October’s fixtures and there is a significant opportunity opening up. He can now stake his claim for a place at next year’s World Cup by drawing back alongside or pushing ahead of those likely to be challenging for his role in the team.
Ward-Prowse is clearly liked by Southgate after the Three Lions’ boss managed him in the England Under-21s setup, although exposure at the highest level may play a big part in some call-ups.
After signing a new contract back in the summer though, Ward-Prowse is committed to St Mary’s and will need to take the chances that come his way whilst other players are unavailable. Given that he will not be playing a part in upcoming games for Saints too, he has a free rein to give his all this time around.