Hasenhuttl getting Ward-Prowse back to his best would boost Southampton's survival hopes
James Ward-Prowse has struggled with his form since last season and this has been a major concern at Southampton.
The 24-year-old was once tipped as the next big star for club and country but he has since failed to live up to such lofty expectations.
But with a new manager at the helm in Ralph Hasenhuttl and a relegation battle ahead, can Ward-Prowse get back to his best to inspire Southampton to safety?
The once-capped England international is a technically gifted central midfielder but Hasenhuttl needs to address his lack of physicality.
The Austrian will be aware of Ward-Prowse’s natural ability but he needs to reinstate some confidence in the midfield playmaker to get his team ticking.
Ward-Prowse was given 10 minutes against Cardiff so he is featuring in Hasenhuttl’s immediate plans but now is the time to step into a more senior role.
Hasenhuttl is also renowned for using his set-pieces as a major weapon.
If he is in form, there is no better set-piece taken in Southampton’s squad than Ward-Prowse and having 6ft 7in Jannik Vestergaard to aim at would surely deliver goals.
Ward-Prowse has quality but needs to rediscover his form in order to lead Southampton to safety.
If Hasenhuttl cannot squeeze the best out of the academy graduate, then perhaps it is time for him to end a 15-year association with the club.