Smith tips Mings for England role

Aston Villa

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith believes Tyrone Mings could soon earn an England call up if he maintains his current form.

The centre-back initially joined Villa on loan from Bournemouth midway through last season and he played a major role as the Villans emerged from the middle of the Championship standings to earn promotion via the play-offs.

Villa then turned the 26-year-old’s move into a permanent transfer for an initial £20million and he produced another eye-catching display despite seeing his side begin life back in the Premier League with a 3-1 defeat at Tottenham.

Mings certainly seems to have formed an instant understanding with summer signing Bjorn Engels at the heart of Villa defence, with his leadership qualities and ability to play out from the back catching the eye as much as his defending.

Smith is certainly a big fan of the former Ipswich youngster and he sees no reason why he cannot continue to improve as the season develops and potentially even come into Gareth Southgate’s international thinking with England.

“I don’t think we’re blessed with too many left-footed centre-backs in the country,” Smith told reporters. “He catches the eye with how he plays. He’s very good on the ball, he’s athletic, he’s good in the air.

“I think 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.”

Mings is yet to earn a senior international call-up with England, but he may have one eye on Southgate’s squad for next month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.

The defender will get his next chance to impress when Aston Villa welcome his former club Bournemouth to Villa Park on Saturday.

Mings’ time at the Vitality Stadium was blighted by injuries and he was never able to enjoy an extended run in Eddie Howe’s team, but Smith does not believe he will go into Saturday’s game with a point to prove.

“No I don’t think so,” Smith added. “He’s quite a level-headed lad anyway. He’s played big games in the Premier League for them and some of them were last season.

“Tyrone knew he needed to get out and play football. We enjoyed having Tyrone and he enjoyed being here.

“We took up the opportunity to buy him but I know Eddie (Howe) has said he didn’t really want him to leave. But Tyrone knows he has to go and perform for his team.”

Villa lost the last time the two sides met in the West Midlands, as they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat, although prior to that they had won three games on the spin against the Cherries.