Aston Villa parted with £20 million this summer to sign Tyrone Mings on a permanent basis. The defender spent the second half of last season at Villa Park, on loan from Bournemouth. The versatile 26-year-old swiftly became a key figure in Dean Smith’s side, and played a big role in helping the Midlands outfit achieve promotion back to the Premier League.
Mings is now a Villa player, having left Bournemouth behind, and he’s back in the top flight with a point to prove. He never got to show his best for the Cherries, as a succession of injuries limited his first team opportunities. However, Smith believes Mings is now ready to put that right. The centre-back will play a lot of football for the Villans this season, so has the chance show his quality.
Smith even believes that Mings has what it takes to earn international recognition. Smith said of the Englishman, as quoted by Sky Sports, “he catches the eye with how he plays. He’s very good on the ball, he’s athletic, he’s good in the air…he’s a tremendous talent and the more games he gets the more he will come into people’s minds. That will probably include the England coaching staff as well.”
There’s no doubting Mings’ importance at Villa Park. The Bath-born defender is a tenacious operator and is integral to Smith’s plans. He’s also good on the ball, and can have an impact higher up the pitch too. He has all the qualities that Gareth Southgate looks for in potential England defenders.
However, competition to feature in the Three Lions’ rearguard is currently fierce. The likes of Harry Maguire, John Stones, Michael Keane, James Tarkowski and Lewis Dunk are all vying for inclusion in the heart of the England defence. Mings can also play as a left-back, but stands no chance of displacing the likes of Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw or Danny Rose.
Mings will have to be at his best to enter contention for an England call up. Even then, the likes of Rob Holding, Calum Chambers or Conor Coady may still be preferred. However, Smith’s words will still give the Villa man some confidence.