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James Ward-Prowse proving a £30m bargain for West Ham after lightening start to the season

James Ward-Prowse proving a £30m bargain for West Ham

James Ward-Prowse stole the spotlight in West Ham United’s impressive comeback victory during their Europa League clash against FK TSC Backa Topola on Thursday evening.

The Hammers found themselves trailing early in the second half but restored parity after the hour mark courtesy of a fortuitous own goal from Nemanja Petrovic.

Often labelled a set-piece specialist, Ward-Prowse promptly lived up to his reputation, orchestrating West Ham’s path to victory with two assists from corner kicks.

The 28-year-old floated in a precise corner kick to set up Mohammed Kudus for his first West Ham goal before repeating the feat 12 minutes later, assisting Tomas Soucek in a similar fashion.

The former Southampton skipper, who set West Ham back £30 million in the summer, has justified every penny of his price tag with a blistering start to the season.

Since joining the Hammers, the English international has featured in every match and contributed either goals or assists in each of his appearances across all competitions.

His West Ham debut against Chelsea saw him provide two assists, followed by his first goal for the club in the subsequent 3-1 triumph over Brighton & Hove Albion. 

Ward-Prowse added another assist against Luton Town and a goal against the Premier League reigning champions Manchester City.

The ex-Southampton man’s underlying numbers have also caught the eye. He has created two big chances this term while averaging 1.3 key passes per 90.

His creative abilities have not diminished his defensive duties, as he averages two interceptions per match, 0.8 tackles per 90, and 5.5 ball recoveries per game while maintaining a 50% success rate in ground duels.

Ward-Prowse has undoubtedly emerged as the linchpin in West Ham’s impressive start to the season, with Moyes’ side amassing ten points from their opening five games.

Determined to surpass their lacklustre domestic performance last season, West Ham’s summer acquisitions emphasize their ambition to reclaim a spot in the upper echelons of the Premier League.

The Hammers will travel to Merseyside this weekend to face Liverpool, and Ward-Prowse could easily be the difference between victory and defeat at Anfield.

The Englishman has quickly established himself as an indispensable part of Moyes’ plans and will play a pivotal role as West Ham pursue domestic and European success this season.

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