Former Southampton captain Dean Hammond has claimed that James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick record will be invincible once the Saints star surpasses David Beckham’s tally.
Southampton earned a brilliant 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday, February 18. Yet another stunning free-kick goal from Ward-Prowse saw the Saints claim all three points in London.
The England international now has a whopping 17 free-kick goals to his name in the Premier League. His winner against the Blues edged him one step closer to Beckham’s record of 18.
Hammond has tipped Ward-Prowse to cruise past the Manchester United great soon. The former Southampton skipper believes the Saints star’s record will be unbeatable once he takes the lead. He said on Southamptons’ The Final Whistle podcast:
"“One behind David Beckham now, what an accolade it is. He’s going to catch David Beckham, he’s going to score many, many more.”“No one, I think, will ever catch his record. It’s brilliant.”"
Hammond lauds Southampton captain Ward-Prowse for leadership
Hammond went on to heap praise on Ward-Prowse for his leadership qualities. The ex-midfielder explained that the 28-year-old led by example with his match-winning performance against Chelsea on Saturday. He said:
"“I’m just smiling because he deserves it because I think this season he has taken a lot on his shoulders as captain, as the leader of the group, the best player Southampton have.”“He would have taken a lot [more] responsibility, wanting to do more, wanting to take more responsibility.”“When he was needed today, with the goal, with his performance, fantastic, so, yes, congratulations to him.”"
The victory at Stamford Bridge will be a huge boost to Southampton’s hopes of avoiding relegation this season. Although they are still last in the table, they are now just two points behind 18th-placed West Ham United.
Interim manager Ruben Selles made a case for himself to take the charge of the team at least until the end of the season. He will be determined to lead the team to another positive result when they face Leeds United next weekend.