It is often said that places on national teams are earned by merit. Aside a few exceptions where players get the call-up regardless of their good or bad form, several players often get call-ups due to their form in the weeks – or months – prior to the announcement of a squad.
England are living exactly that moment with James Ward-Prowse. The talented Southampton midfielder has always been an interesting prospect, but what he’s been doing in 2019 has put him in a whole different level. One where he truly belongs among the top playmkers in the Premier League. And due to his current form, there’s no question he deserved Gareth Southgate’s call-up to The Three Lions.
Ward-Prowse had enough merits for a call-up
What Ward-Prowse has been doing with The Saints deserves praise and recognition. Through 18 Premier League appearances, the 24-year-old has six goals while delivering two assists. The most impressive thing of all, however, is the fact that his six goals have come in his last nine EPL outings. And it’s not like he’s scoring goals when games are decided.
Currently on a three-game scoring run, Ward-Prowse netted the second goal in a 2-0 win over Fulham. He also found the back of the net with a stunning free-kick in the 2-3 loss to Manchester United. But he outdid himself and scored another brilliant free-kick against the Spurs. This time, it was a lovely curled effort over the wall that gave his side the win late in the second half.
But.. is he going to play at all?
However, there’s one huge question remaining for Ward-Prowse. Is he going to enough playing time to make a case for himself for future squads?
That’s… debatable at least. Ward-Prowse would have to compete with more established names such as Dele Alli and Ross Barkley for a playmaking role. The competition gets even stronger if he’s deployed on a wider role, though. On the wings, he’d have to compete with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho. So don’t be surprised if he doesn’t play at all during the upcoming matches against Czech Republic and Montenegro.
However, he already made the jump to the NT radar. And that alone is a huge accomplishment, but also a deserved prize for one of the most dynamic playmakers in the Premier League during the current term.
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