James Ward-Prowse to Chelsea?! Mauricio Pochettino talks up West Ham midfielder amid need for ‘set-piece specialists’ at the club

Despite putting in the work with the players and coaching staff behind the scenes, Pochettino has been left ruing Chelsea's lack of a particularly skilled set-piece taker. He used Ward-Prowse, who has made a major impact at West Ham since joining last summer, as an example of the benefit.

Ward-Prowse scored the 17th free-kick of his Premier League career against Pochettino's Chelsea in December 2023, putting him just one behind David Beckham's record tally in the competition. Since 2013, the midfielder also only trails Lionel Messi (32) for free-kick goals across Europe's top five leagues - but Ward-Prowse (13.4%) actually has a better success rate than the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner (9.4%), per Opta.


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