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Ward-Prowse happy with signings

Published 14/07/2015

James Ward-Prowse has been impressed by Southampton's new boys
James Ward-Prowse has been impressed by Southampton's new boys

Key players may have again departed but James Ward-Prowse has been impressed by Southampton's transfer activity to date.

Last season Saints upset the odds by enjoying their best-ever Premier League campaign, finishing seventh and racking up a record points tally.

It means European football will return to St Mary's for the first time in 12 years, but even that was not enough to prevent the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Nathaniel Clyne and Toby Alderweireld leaving for pastures new.

Ward-Prowse has, though, been impressed by the quality of replacement, with Ronald Koeman having brought in Juanmi, Cedric, Maarten Stekelenburg and Cuco Martina.

"I'm a massive team member and I was thinking of the lads while I was away (on a pre-season tour to Austria)," Ward-Prowse said, having returned from an extended break.

"From the games I've seen the new signings look great. It's very exciting when new players come to the club, so I'm looking forward to meeting them and seeing what they are about."

Feyenoord captain Jordy Clasie is close to becoming the next addition to a Southampton squad who are preparing for European football.

Saints enter the Europa League at the third qualifying round juncture and find out their opponents on Friday.

"It is very exciting," Ward-Prowse said. "I think the club is ready for the prospect of European football.

"For me on an individual basis as well, that's the right path to go down, to play European football.

"It is very exciting and hopefully we will get the right results."

Ward-Prowse returned to Saints on Monday having gone away with England to the European Under-21 Championship.

The Czech Republic was a valuable if disappointing experience for the midfielder, who featured in just one match as Gareth Southgate's men exited at the group stage.

"Tournament football is very, very challenging," Ward-Prowse told Southampton's official YouTube channel.

"It was disappointing on personal terms and the team terms. I'd have liked to play a bit more football and obviously we'd have liked to be a bit more successful.

"But we live and learn from these things and going forwards it's going to make me a stronger player and person."

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