Former Leeds marksman Noel Whelan has spoken up on his excitement at the prospect of Southampton talisman James Ward-Prowse making a switch to Aston Villa.

Having recently confirmed the acquisition of Norwich City winger Emiliano Buendia for a club-record fee, The Guardian have since reported that the Villians are targeting the Southampton star as a successive summer addition.

Operating in the heart of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s midfield this season, Ward-Prowse mustered eight goals and seven assists in the league for the Saints.

In a fine testament to his reliability, Ward-Prowse did not miss a single minute of Premier League action for the Saints and played in all 38 fixtures as a result.

Accounting for just under a third of all of Southampton’s league goals, Noel Whelan gave his thoughts on the potential Aston Villa acquisition of Ward-Prowse as he spoke to Football Insider.

Claiming that a combination of Buendia and Ward-Prowse with Villa star Jack Grealish could ‘open doors’, Whelan commented:

“If you get Ward-Prowse and Buendia, can you afford to let Grealish go?”

“In my opinion, yes. You’ve covered bases there. You have two players who can produce the same as Grealish does.

“Ward-Prowse has a better delivery and he works harder in the midfield. Add Buendia to that mix and you have the creativity and the player who can open doors.

“If they can keep all three then you’re wondering how to fit them all in. They would be a fantastic side.

“They would be dangerous from all kinds of positions. You’ve got creativity and excitement written all over Villa if you have those three.

“I’m just not sure how to fit them all in.”

Read Southampton Verdict

Southampton fans will be all-too aware of the creative potency that Ward-Prowse injects into Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side – though Southampton are unlikely to sell.

Under contract until 2025, Southampton would find themselves firmly in the driving seat over commanding a suitable transfer fee.

Separately, according to a report from the Daily Mail Southampton have made it clear that the club will not be selling the midfielder in a staunch indication of their intent to build around the club academy product.

Will Villa bid for Ward-Prowse?