Smith: I ‘scoffed’ at Mings price

By Phil Jennings

DEAN Smith believes Tyrone Mings is ready to be called up by Gareth Southgate for England’s next squad.

Southgate was at Villa Park on Friday to see an outstanding display by Mings in the 2-0 win over Everton.

Now the England boss has to consider who he will select for
the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.

And Smith says Mings and Jack Grealsh could be in his thoughts now.

But in an era when defenders are being bought for £80million – the £20million it cost to take Mings to Villa from Bournemouth looks a bargain.

The Villa boss told reporters after the Everton game: “I scoffed at the price for Tyrone, to be honest, at the time.

“I took a deep breath. Bournemouth were driving a hard bargain. They knew that we wanted the player because he had done so well for us last season.

“It was a very tough one for me to take but he was a player that I believed we needed, so we ended up spending the £20 million. And I have no regrets about that.

“We did our business early and when you look later on in the window it looks a snip.

“He’s a cult hero here. The fans have taken to his wholehearted performances but it certainly helps that he can work day-to-day on the training ground with John Terry as well.”

Smith will not tell Southgate who he should pick – but says that Mings, 26, has all the credentials he needs.

The Villa boss added: “I’ve said before that I don’t think, as a country, we’re blessed with too many left-sided, left-footed centre-backs and I’m fortunate in that I have two in Mings and Kortney Hause.

“Mings’ first three games in the Premier League have been very good.

“He’s been a Premier League player for three years but unfortunately his time at Bournemouth was blighted with injuries.

“When I brought him in last season he performed outstandingly well for me. That player is the player we are all seeing now and he was excellent again on Friday night.”

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