Mick McCarthy and Tyrone Mings worked together at Ipswich, when the latter signed for the former, and now they both have international recognition to their name.
McCarthy had already had it, taking Ireland to the World Cup in 2002, but Mings is a fresh England call-up, having signed a £25,000-a-week (Spotrac) contract with Aston Villa this summer.
And McCarthy told TalkSport about Mings: “In a practice match, after watching him for five minutes I said, ‘I’ll sign him now’. He was that good. You knew he was going to be a player from the minute we signed him.
“His attitude was always aggressive. He was 18 and he was talking to people, sticking his foot in, kicking people, winning the ball. He’s done as well as I would’ve expected.”
TBR’s View – Injury the main reason Mings is only now showing full potential
It’s easy for people to say in hindsight how good Mings has always been but McCarthy saw him when he was nobody and knows the ability he’s always had.
His rise may seem sudden to the outsider, but Mings has battled with injuries and that’s the main reason he has only matured into a Premier League standard defender now.
The quality has always been there, and given that Gareth Southgate lacks an outstanding central defender, he’s got every chance of making it into the Euro 2020 squad if he keeps his level up.