Aston Villa centre-back Tyrone Mings was called up to the Three Lions for the first time last week, and he will be hoping to make his England debut when Gareth Southgate’s men take on Kosovo and Bulgaria in the Euros 2020 qualifiers during the ongoing international break.
The Villa star helped the Midlands outfit to Premier League promotion at the end of last season during a season-long loan from Bournemouth, earning a permanent £20 million move in the summer as a result, and has continued to replicate his fine form in the top-flight.
Some Villa Park faithful have already dubbed him the “Villa’s Virgil Van Dijk”, and he has finally responded to the comparisons with the Liverpool star.
“Him (Van Dijk) for sure. I think he is perhaps one of the most complete centre-backs in world football right now. I try to watch as many clips of different centre-backs as possible and take different inspirations from different place and different people,” Mings told journalists during a press conference.
“He is definitely one person I would love to emulate on the pitch. To be mentioned in the same sentence or breath as him is an extremely positive thing.
“I wouldn’t make those comparisons just yet. I’ve got a long way to go for that, but it’s nice. The Villa fans are brilliant so those comparisons are fine with me.”
Van Dijk helped Liverpool to the Champions League trophy last season and the Anfield outfit only missed out on the Premier League title by a point.
The Merseysiders have improve significantly at the back since splashing £75 million on the signature of the Dutch international in January 2018, and he recently won the UEFA Player of the Year after a wonderful campaign where he emerged as the PFA Player of the Year.
Van Dijk is widely regarded as the best centre-back on the planet at the moment, and not many will argue it.
Mings is definitely not on par with the Liverpool star, but he is on his way to becoming a defensive force to reckon with, and should he put in impressive performances for Villa consistently this season, he could be in the Three Lions’ starting XI at next summer’s Euros.