A compilation of James Ward-Prowse's last 100 free-kicks has gone viral, his record is unreal
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James Ward-Prowse is just two goals away from equalling David Beckham’s record for most free-kick goals in the Premier League after he scored a beauty against Everton on Saturday.
The 28-year-old midfielder, who many believe to be the best dead-ball specialist in Europe and beyond, has netted an impressive 16 direct free-kicks in England's top flight.
His first came during the 2015/16 campaign, when he whipped one past then-West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill.
And the Southampton academy product has continued to be a real threat from set pieces, with notable free-kick goals coming against Manchester United, Tottenham, Newcastle and that swerving effort against Wolves.
An angle of 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 James Ward-Prowse free-kick which is one of the most satisfying things you will ever see.pic.twitter.com/bpSvATbCLB— SPORTbible (@sportbible) January 23, 2022
Some say giving Ward-Prowse a free-kick is like giving another player a penalty. His accuracy from range has been so consistent down the years.
In fact, 53 per cent of his free-kicks have hit the target since 2016/17, which is well above the average of 32 per cent for a Premier League player, and a total of 18.42 per cent of those have been goals.
So where does he rank when it comes to all-time free-kick takers?
Well, Twitter user @unSeenFooty has posted a four-minute compilation of his last 100 free-kicks to give you an idea of his talent from range. Check it out below.
Where do you rank James Ward-Prowse in the best free-kick takers of all time? Here’s his last 100 free kicks..😮💨 pic.twitter.com/DDw061MUqG— Charisma (@unSeenFooty) January 7, 2023
Here's how fans reacted to the free-kick compilation.
One commented: "Top three easily. The consistency on the strikes is mad when it’s put together on a comp like this," while another said: "Third best ever. Juninho miles ahead and Messi just above him in second."
A third wrote: "The overall consistency here is seriously impressive. There’s only a handful that were blazed over, and a couple hitting the wall. But generally the majority are hitting the target, the frame of the goal or very close to it. Cracking dead ball ability, always a threat."
Southampton boss Nathan Jones praised Ward-Prowse after he scored a brace for the Saints in their crucial relegation clash against Everton at Goodison Park – a game they won 2-1.
“He’s been outstanding since I came in, his attitude," Jones said after the full-time whistle on Saturday.
“My first conversation with him was 10 minutes after he didn’t get picked for the England squad. Since that moment, he’s been absolutely world-class for me. The way he reacted and the performances you’re seeing now, it’s really motivated and driven.”
Jones added: “He’s vital, I like to get to know my captains and have a real relationship with them, a real personal relationship so they understand decisions we make.
“Sometimes we’ll make tough decisions, out there tactical decisions, but he is one that takes everything on board and understands. You see how the group is.
“I'm sure he's going to get that (Beckham’s record) because I think he's going to play in the Premier League for a few years yet and the quality isn't going to diminish. So unless someone comes in and cuts his right leg off, I think that record’s under threat.”
Where do you rank Ward-Prowse in the all-time free-kick takers list?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@unSeenFooty - Premier League
Topics: Southampton, James Ward-Prowse, Premier League, Everton, England