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JWP backs Shaw to stick around

29 Jan 2014 15:16:58

JWP backs Shaw to stick around

Highly sought-after Luke Shaw has no intention of leaving Southampton this month, according to team-mate James Ward-Prowse, who believes there is nowhere better for a young player to be right now.

Saints' focus on home-grown talent is well documented, with eight British players featuring in Tuesday's frenetic 2-2 draw with league leaders Arsenal.

Five of those progressed through the club's much-vaunted youth system, which in recent years has produced the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Teenage left-back Shaw is the latest potential star and is attracting a lot of interest from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.

However, the 18-year-old has no intention of jumping ship any time soon and Ward-Prowse, himself only 19, believes St Mary's is the best place for him.

"Obviously there is a little bit of banter flying around about the headlines, but that is just normal in football," the midfielder told Press Association Sport.

"His feet are on the ground, his head at the right place at the moment and he put in a great performance against Arsenal.

"He is settled, that is the main thing. You can see the fans love him as well, which is a good thing. This is the best club to be at, at the moment."

While Shaw is set to remain at St Mary's, the same cannot be said for club-record signing Dani Osvaldo.

Signed to much fanfare from Roma in the summer, the Italy international has failed to impress at St Mary's and looks to be on his way out after an altercation with team-mate Jose Fonte.

The incident saw Saints - not for the first time in 2014 - make the wrong kind of headlines, but Ward-Prowse says team morale has not been hit.

"It hasn't really affected us in a bad way," he said. "I think the camaraderie in the camp and everyone's positivity has resulted in us ignoring those off-the-field issues.

"Like you saw against Arsenal and against Yeovil at the weekend, our performances have not been affected."

So impressive was Saints' display against the Gunners on Tuesday that the players left the field disappointed to have only taken a point.

Fonte put Saints deservedly ahead during an impressive first-half display, only for quick-fire goals from Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla to turn the match on its head soon after half-time.

Adam Lallana's strike ensured a point but, given Mathieu Flamini was sent off late on, it was a chance missed for Saints.

"I think in the end it was a good point," Ward-Prowse added. "All the lads are disappointed to lose out to two goals early in the second half, but we fought back and showed great spirit.

"It was frustrating and we outplayed them in the first half. We stuck in there, showed character and got a point."


PA

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