Although the domestic season has only just started, the international break is already looming large on the horizon, with resumption of England’s Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. They are due to play Bulgaria at Wembley on Saturday 7 September and against Kosovo in Southampton three days later.
International breaks involving England have been of little interest to Villa fans for some time now, but Gareth Southgate’s latest announcement has caught the eye because of the inclusion of two Villa players.
Goalkeeper Tom Heaton was to be expected as a regular over recent seasons, but more surprising (and welcome) is the inclusion for the first time of Tyrone Mings, who has not previously represented his country at any level.
There had been speculation that Jack Grealish might earn his first senior call-up, but it was Mings who got the nod on this occasion having impressed Southgate since arriving at Villa Park on loan last January.
Having revealed he’d kept a close eye on Mings last season in the Championship, Southgate said, “I wanted to see how he adapted to the Premier League and a different level of forward. He’s an interesting case because he is in to the game a bit later than others and has not played as much as a centre-back – left-back at Ipswich, bad injury at Bournemouth – so there’s a lot of room for improvement with him.
I really like his leadership qualities, I think he is an outstanding athlete and very composed with the ball. I’m looking forward to working with him because we see a lot of potential and room for growth, given the number of games he has actually played.”
Great news and reward for some very impressive and consistent performances over the past eight months. The man himself took to Twitter to express his overwhelm and pride in his achievement.
Overwhelmed with emotion right now. I don’t know what else to say other than I’m incredibly proud to be called up to the @England squad. Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me up to this point ???? pic.twitter.com/KztXT4AsAW
— Tyrone Mings (@OfficialTM_3) August 29, 2019
Manchester United full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka joins Mings in linking up with the squad for the first time, while Mason Mount and James Maddison have also been drafted in after impressing in the early matches this season.
The full squad: