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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Saints starlet stays grounded

Southampton starlet James Ward-Prowse is keeping his feet on the ground despite being tipped for a big future at the club.

Last Updated: 28/10/12 at 12:06 Post Comment

James Ward-Prowse: Keeping his feet on the ground

James Ward-Prowse: Keeping his feet on the ground

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The Saints have helped developed the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from the club's academy and Ward-Prowse is the latest to come through the ranks.

The 17-year-old has burst onto the first-team scene this season, making nine appearances in Nigel Adkins' side on their return to the top flight.

A number of clubs have been linked with Ward-Prowse, but the teenager insists he is only focused on developing as a player at Southampton and sees current Saints skipper Adam Lallana as an ideal role model to follow.

"This has been a massive year for me but I am not thinking about big-money moves," said Ward-Prowse. "I just want to be the best player I can be for this football club.

"You are always going to be labelled as the next Gareth Bale after coming through this Academy, but my main focus is to develop to be the best I can for this club.

"I prefer to try to emulate Adam Lallana because he is a local boy who has stayed at the club since he was a youngster," said the barrister's boy who made his Premier League debut at Manchester City in August, aged 17.

"He is now captain and has been called up by England. He is someone I want to be like. He is a perfect example."

Adkins is confident Ward-Prowse will not be the latest young star to be snared away by one of the Premier League's big guns.

"James is a young man with a very bright future but why would he want to leave? We are an ambitious club and going places," insisted Adkins.

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