West Ham: James Ward-Prowse hopes starring role in Europa League could revive England hopes

Hopes: James Ward-Prowse  (Getty Images)
Hopes: James Ward-Prowse (Getty Images)

James Ward-Prowse is hoping a starring role in West Ham’s latest European run could yet revive his fading England dream.

The Hammers are in Germany ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League last-16 meeting with Freiburg, with David Moyes’s side looking to reach a third consecutive European quarter-final.

Ward-Prowse, however, only signed for the club from Southampton last summer, arriving fresh on the back of the Irons’ historic Conference League triumph in Prague, and will get his first taste of European knockout football in the Black Forest.

"As a player you want to play in the best competitions," the midfielder said. "For me, it's good to get to this stage but as a club we're aiming higher and hopefully we can keep going on this run.

"I've really enjoyed the start of my career at West Ham. I think it helped joining with the momentum of the Europa Conference League win and it's been an honour so far.”

James Ward-Prowse with England in 2022 (Getty Images)
James Ward-Prowse with England in 2022 (Getty Images)

England boss Gareth Southgate is due to name his squad for the upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Belgium next week, the final matches before he must confirm a 23-man party for Euro 2024.

Having been on the periphery of the squad for much of Southgate’s reign, Ward-Prowse has fallen down the pecking order over the last 18 months. The 29-year-old won the last of his 11 caps in the summer of 2022 and was left out of all three international breaks last autumn despite making a flying start to his West Ham career.

Midfield competition has increased in the interim, with Manchester United youngster Kobbie Mainoo pushing for a first call-up, Conor Gallagher in superb form for Chelsea and even Ross Barkley enjoying a resurgence at Luton Town.

Hammers teammate Kalvin Phillips - a Southgate favourite - is facing his own battle to keep his place after a run of poor form, but Ward-Prowse has also not yet given up hope of forcing the manager’s hand.

"England is always in the back of my mind," he added. "I've been in and out over the last few years but the only thing that's going to get me in there is playing regularly and to a very high level. I'll keep working hard and hopefully that call will come."