One respected central defender established himself as an admirer of one of his successors for club and country when Gareth Southgate gave Tyrone Mings his England debut. For all that Jack Grealish is rightly recognised as Aston Villa’s most important player, without the stability Mings has provided them with in central defence since his arrival from Bournemouth in 2019, it is unlikely they would even have got promoted from the Championship, let alone remained in the Premier League.
“Since I’ve been watching him he’s displayed outstanding leadership qualities,” Southgate said shortly after Mings’ international debut at the age of 26 in October 2019. “He’s an impressive young man. That worldly wiseness, if you like, shows.”