Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has claimed that defender Ezri Konsa is the one player the rest of the squad don’t like facing in training.
Konsa has played every single minute of the league season so far for Villa and has a great partnership alongside Tyrone Mings.
The 23-year-old centre-back is a physical presence that reads the game well and is strong in the air, as well as having a decent turn of pace too.
He is a £12million signing (BBC) that has been brilliant since he joined from Brentford in July 2019 and appears to be thriving working under assistant manager John Terry, who many regard as the best defender in Premier League history.
Smith has made a comparison to Konsa and Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe, who was a huge hit on his previous loan at Villa Park.
“I don’t think our players like to play against him in training,” Smith said, as quoted by the club’s official Twitter account.
“His mindset is on being a top footballer and it’s similar to Axel Tuanzebe, a player that we had on loan.”
Konsa has the versatility to slot in as a right-back if needed, but he’s looked rock solid when played at centre-half and is perhaps underrated across the Premier League.
With Tyrone Mings already a part of the senior England squad, Konsa should be someone dreaming of joining him in Gareth Southgate’s squad and he just needs to try keep up his level of consistency.
Villa have kept four clean sheets in their opening league matches so far and the aggressive defender is certainly a key part of the backline, which is why it’s no surprise to hear he’s a handful on the training ground.