England international James Ward-Prowse is a target for Newcastle United in January, according to Football Insider.
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While the 26-year-old did only sign a new deal on the South Coast recently, newly-rich Newcastle could explore the possibility of launching a bid for him when the transfer window reopens at the turn of the year.
Indeed, strengthening the midfield is believed to be an early priority for the club’s new owners, given Joe Willock is the only player to have been signed for money in that department since the purchase of Mikel Merino in 2017.
Ward-Prowse is understood to be valued at around £40m by his current club but, while expensive, is approaching the peak of his career and has lengthy experience in the Premier League, which could theoretically make him the ideal mid-season signing.
Would James Ward-Prowse be a good signing for Newcastle?
The lack of dynamism Newcastle have in the middle of the park has been frequently lamented. With Jonjo Shelvey proving as unreliable as ever and former manager Steve Bruce missing out on the signing of Hamza Choudhury in the summer, the options look incredibly bleak.
Ward-Prowse, meanwhile, data ranks within the top 76 percentile of central midfielders in Europe’s major five leagues over the past year for blocks per game (1.88) as well as in the leading 77% for clearances (1.91, via FBREF).
This season alone, his 1 tackle and 1.1 interceptions per game (via WhoScored) would see him rank third and second within Newcastle’s midfield respectively. Going forward, his 1.4 key passes over the same period cannot be bettered by a single central midfielder on Tyneside.
A free-kick specialist too, Ward-Prowse’s durability could make any big investment worth it, with the midfielder setting a Premier League record in May by becoming the first player in his position to play every minute of two consecutive campaigns.
Indeed, signing him could also potentially weaken a rival towards the bottom of the division too, which would be another added bonus.