Aston Villa centre-half Tyrone Mings needs no introduction at the club as we more than saw what the 26-year-old was capable of last season during his loan spell from Bournemouth.
Having had a significant impact on our turn of form as we successfully secured promotion via the Play-Off and Wembley route last season, his permanent arrival this summer was a much wanted transfer development for fans, even if it cost us a reported £25million deal in total.
Having been given his maiden England call up during the September lull in fixtures, although he didn’t get on the pitch the performances against Bulgaria and Kosovo in particular would’ve done his chances no harm at all – especially in light of his sided preference which brings a greater balance to the heart of defence.
Speaking to Sky Sports News (10/9 – 10.50am) about his selection, former England gaffer Steve McClaren admitted that Mings was ‘unproven’ so far at that level of the game, but he felt he had all the attributes necessary to make his mark in the future.
“In terms of modern centre-backs, who can defend one-on-one, who can go on the halfway line and press and keep the team compact because that’s what is needed then the player that fits that profile is the boy Mings. Unproven, but I was impressed with him last season with Aston Villa and the start he has also made in the Premier League. I think he was one of them that made mistakes but because of his pace, he got out of those mistakes. Great left foot and looks like a good character. Him on the left-hand side and Maguire on the right-hand side. When you look on paper, it looks pretty formidable. But paper means nothing and that’s why I always say that the best two are not always the right two.”
Whilst McClaren caveats his comments with the last line, and he’s right to, ultimately that question won’t be answered until Mings gets his shot in the side and we can judge what kind of understanding and partnership he can build with Maguire (or another).
Having already had a few centre-half partners during his spell at B6, he adapts quickly enough to the strengths and weaknesses of his colleague, and I don’t see that as being any different at England level.
Just depends if, and when, Gareth Southgate decides to take a proper look.