Exclusive: Darren Bent claims Villa 26-yr-old thinking of big step up after recent sighting


Darren Bent suggests that Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings will have one eye on making the big step up into the England starting XI after Michael Keane’s shaky display against Kosovo.

The former Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insists that the Everton man’s performance, which saw him make a costly error in the opening minute in Southampton, will have been watched on by a number of rival defenders with some delight.

Keane joined Harry Magure in the starting line up against both Kosovo and Bulgaria during the international break, with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez accompanying Mings on the substitutes’ bench.

However, having seen Mings impress for Villa both in the Championship and in the Premier League, Bent says the 26-year-old will be thinking about making that step up from the bench to picking up his first Three Lions cap.

Bent told Football Insider: “There’s a long list of defenders who would have been looking at that performance from Keane and Maguire – John Stones, Joe Gomez, Tyrone Mings.

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“He (Mings) will be thinking: ‘Hold on a second here, I can’t be too far away from getting an opportunity.’ Maguire looks to have nailed down the other spot. It’s sometimes hard to blame one defender but when it’s so clear cut like that, it’s hard not to.”

Mings, who turned his initial loan to Villa Park into a permanent move this summer, has played 22 times for the Villans to date, just one less than he managed in a three-and-a-half-year spell at Bournemouth.

He has just 21 Premier League games of experience under his belt, featuring in every minute of the current campaign under Dean Smith.

In other Aston Villa news, Alan Hutton has told Football Insider he expects the club to sign a player from Manchester United they’ve been very interested in.