DEFENDER Jannik Vestergaard hailed team-mate James Ward-Prowse's set-piece delivery as "a big weapon", adding: "There are not many as dangerous as him."

Ward-Prowse's skill from dead-ball situations was again highlighted on Sunday. The England ace delivered a corner for Jan Bednarek to head in before brilliantly netting another free-kick to put Saints 2-0 up against Manchester United, only for them to go on and lose 3-2 late on.

The 26-year-old last month overtook legend Matt Le Tissier on the list of all-time Premier League free-kick goals for Saints with his stunning double in victory at Aston Villa.

Ward-Prowse's effort which beat David de Gea on Sunday was his ninth successful strike from a free-kick in the top flight, joint ninth in the all-time list in the league with David Beckham the clear leader on 18.

The midfield ace is also now joint-second in a list of chances created from set plays in the Premier League since his debut at that level in 2012. He has teed up 171 opportunities, level with former Tottenham Hotspur ace Christian Eriksen and behind only Gylfi Sigurdsson of Everton on 204.

"It’s a big asset to this team," said Vestergaard, who headed home a Ward-Prowse free-kick in the 4-3 win at Villa Park.

"I don’t want to say he’s unparalleled, but there are not many as dangerous as him.

"Obviously in the world there are a couple, but he definitely is up there, maybe flying under the radar a little bit in terms of his qualities on free-kicks.

"We feel very confident when we have a set piece up and around the box, we know he can score from anywhere and lately we’ve also been able to score from the crosses. It’s a big weapon."

Fellow centre-back Bednarek added: "He has got the best delivery in the league, so we have to use it and that's what we are trying to do.

"We practise a lot during the week on set-pieces and I think we have scored a few goals this season, so I think that has to be our strength. Prowsey delivering the ball is a great opportunity to create chances."

And former Manchester United star Roy Keane agreed.

Speaking in his role as a pundit on Sky Sports, Keane said: "The pace he gets on it, the accuracy, he's certainly one of the best in Europe at the moment with that type of ability.

"From Southampton's point of view it's fantastic, it's like giving away a penalty."