Southampton prospect Caleb Watts hails behind-the-scenes influence of James Ward-Prowse
Southampton prospect Caleb Watts has been speaking with The World Game and hailed the behind-the-scenes influence of James Ward-Prowse.
The England midfielder is one of many senior players who have been helping Watts develop into a first-team player. Ralph Hasenhuttl awarded the 19-year-old his Saints debut in January, but he is yet to establish himself.
Watts has featured four times across all competitions, with three Premier League substitute appearances and one start in the FA Cup to his name. He enjoyed his longest top-flight outing against Manchester City but has not featured since March due to a calf injury.
Watts hopes to follow in the footsteps of players like Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana. All three broke through from the Southampton academy to enjoy illustrious senior careers. He is already on the right path, with a senior Australia debut expected this summer.
The teenage midfielder is currently with the Socceroos junior squad as they strive to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. But has reflected on his time in the Southampton first-team and the influence of players like Ward-Prowse.
“I’ve had so much help and advice from my teammates at Southampton, players like James Ward-Prowse,” Watts said.
“The club is famous for producing players – the names are all up there on the canteen walls. Hopefully I can emulate one of the big names in the future that have come through academy.”
TBR’s view: Watts learning from Southampton’s best
There is probably not a better player Watts could learn from at Southampton than Ward-Prowse. The England international himself developed in the Saints’ academy and is now the captain of the first-team. He was even named as the Fans’ Player of the Season for 2020/21.
Ward-Prowse knows exactly what it takes to go from a youth player to a senior star. He also stepped up to catch Gareth Southgate’s eye and is a Premier League record-setter. By playing each minute of the 2020/21 campaign, he became the first midfielder to do so in back-to-back seasons.
Ward-Prowse can now impart that knowledge of his journey into Watts as he looks to build on a promising start. The England-born prospect – seen to be one of Australia’s most highly-rated talents – may already have featured more often had it not been for his injury, as well.
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