Date: 6th September 2019 at 5:09pm
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Jack Grealish’s strong links to Aston Villa are well-documented after the boyhood fan rose through the Villa academy to first-team prominence to now captaining Dean Smith’s side in the Premier League.

Grealish’s influence over Villa’s squad after returning from injury and captaining the side on a club-record winning streak to secure promotion via the play-offs from the Championship was a fairytale season for the 23-year-old.

But after four games it is clear that Villa are struggling to adapt to life in the Premier League, and Smith could be wise to switch the captaincy to an older more experienced player in the squad.

One player who could excel in a captaincy role for Villa is central defender and summer signing Tyrone Mings, who was recently called up to the England squad by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.

Mings has been a commanding presence in central defence for Villa since arriving on loan from Bournemouth in January 2019, playing a highly influential role in their promotion-winning campaign from the Championship to then secure a permanent deal for a fee that could rise to £26.5m.

Considering Mings has been learning his trade as a central defender from first-team coach and former England captain John Terry, there are certainly other beneficial insights that the central-defender could gain from Terry from the perspective of leadership and motivation.

It would represent a considerable risk for Smith to switch the captaincy midway through a season, with potential disruption to squad harmony a huge factor, but there is no doubt that Mings is a player with the ability to galvanise this Villa side with both his performances and his evident leadership qualities – on and off the field.

Smith would certainly be rolling the dice, but with so much at stake at Villa Park, especially after their considerable summer spending spree in which over £130m was spent and 13 new players arrived, the club cannot afford to get their returning campaign to the Premier League wrong.

In Mings, Smith could have a potential long-term captain at Villa Park, but taking the armband off Grealish would be a huge decision for the Villa boss to make.


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