James Ward-Prowse aiming to become a regular starter under Mauricio Pellegrino

The midfielder is working harder than ever to win his right as one of the first names on the team sheet for both Southampton and England.

James Ward-Prowse aiming to become a regular starter under Mauricio Pellegrino
(Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

Southampton's famed youth academy has spurred out some excellent talent in the last decade or two, with the likes of Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott becoming household names - a certain individual is hoping to follow those foot steps. 

James Ward-Prowse, since making his debut as a 16-year-old, has accumulated 179 appearances for the Saints in the six years he's been involved with the first-team, helping them earn the right to be in the Premier League and has easily become an established player in the England set-up. 

However, Ward-Prowse hasn't quite fulfilled all that was expected of him and this campaign is arguably a make or break year for him. He needs to perform to the maximum in order to in the rights of all Southampton supporters, or make a boyhood dream move to a continental and global giant football club. 

"It's every player's ultimate dream to play for England"

Ward-Prowse has become a somewhat of a stalwart in the England youth set-up. The 22-year-old has steadily progressed through the different age groups and is now bordering a challenge for a spot in the first-team under Gareth Southgate, a boss who he heavily featured under at under-21 level. 

He made his full Three Lions debut back in March of this year but hasn't been able to capitalise on that opportunity, swiftly returning to the youth and has now racked up 31 caps for the under-21 national team. 

Speaking on his wish to feature for the senior squad, the prosperous attacking midfielder said, “I am lucky enough to have had that experience and I want to be back there as quickly as possible.''

Although Ward-Prowse does admit that he will need to raise his game at club level with Southampton in order to have a chance of being on the plane to Russia next summer, ''Ultimately I have to be playing at the club to warrant and show the manager I am good enough to be in the England squad. I am eager and keen to do that.''

"I am willing to fit in to play any system the manager wants"

​Throughout his eventful career up to this point, the midfielder has predominately played in a central role and has stated that is where he envisages himself playing in the foreseeable future; ''I have always played in a deeper midfield role, and that’s where I see myself playing”.

Ward-Prowse has had the fortunate experience to capture information and learn from the game with a number of managers having played under five different bosses during his time at St. Mary's so far. 

Although, saying that, the constant change of manager means Ward-Prowse is forced to adapt and play differing positions. He has rightfully played the majority of his matches as a central midfielder, however, has been utilised as a wide man, and Mauricio Pellegrino is currently allowing the youth to flourish in a more attacking role - that potential turning into ability is yet to be seen. 

“I spoke to him about it and about playing a more advanced and attacking role, which of course I am willing to as well'', the player has mentioned in relation to his future role within the Southampton team.