Southampton manager Russell Martin has praised James Ward-Prowse and acknowledges his departure will leave a significant void at the club. Martin expressed his admiration for Ward-Prowse’s character and professionalism during the limited time they have worked together since Martin’s arrival in the summer. Ward-Prowse, who has been with Southampton since he was eight years old, has made over 300 appearances for the club and scored more than 50 goals in all competitions. Despite playing 46 games and scoring 11 goals last season, the club’s relegation to the Championship made him a sought-after target for several Premier League teams.
Expressing his thoughts on Ward-Prowse’s departure, Martin admitted that the midfielder has been torn between staying at Southampton to help the club regain their Premier League status and pursuing his personal ambition of featuring in the top flight to boost his chances of being called up for the England national team. Martin emphasized that Ward-Prowse will leave the club with an amazing legacy, as he is highly respected and admired by everyone associated with Southampton. However, Martin also acknowledged the need for other players to step up in his absence and stressed the importance of finding the next talented individual to fill the void left by Ward-Prowse’s departure.
Ward-Prowse recently featured in Southampton’s season opener against Sheffield Wednesday, where he provided a crucial assist for the winning goal. However, he is not expected to play in the upcoming match against Norwich at St Mary’s on Saturday. Despite his departure, Ward-Prowse’s contributions and impact on the team will be remembered fondly, and he will leave with the best wishes of everyone at the club.