After weeks of rumour and guesswork since Villa secured promotion back to the Premier League, Tyrone Mings is now set to make his loan move from Bournemouth permanent.
This deal doesn’t come cheap for Villa though, with Mings a prize asset in a side that surprised some in being successful in getting up via the playoffs.
Mings will set us back a huge £20 million initially, with additional payments to be made in instalments totalling an eye watering £26.5 million.
Mings was quick to impress having joined us on loan at the turn of the year.
He joined a Villa side that lacked defenders, let alone defensive quality. It was a Villa side that was forced to recall Tommy Elphick just to have a recognised centre-half, after-all.
Mings quickly built his stock at Villa Park, cutting a calm, dominant and reliable figure in the side. He barked orders, led from the back and with a number of outstanding performances, raised eyebrows.
Further, the 26 year old appeared to build an affinity to a fanbase that was crying out for a charismatic figure at the heart of the defence. Villa is a club that admires both charisma and quality, from Mellberg to McGrath and beyond.
With such an enormous price tag comes rightful scrutiny.
What is value for money in the modern game? It’s all relative and countless examples of fees can be referenced. The only point of consideration might be that Villa opted or were unable to negotiate a fee prior to the loan. At best we had first refusal on any matched bid, for a player who it’s believed had an outright valuation of around £6m in January 2019 prior to his loan spell.
Mings also has an undeniable chronic historic injury record, a fact that resulted in him barely featuring in four seasons at Bournemouth, slipping to fifth choice and finding himself at Villa Park on loan. Whilst this has likely been given thorough medical consideration, one cannot help but ponder that more than a little risk arrives on the back of such an important deal.
Whilst incomparable in terms of fee, Martin Laursen’s arrival from AC Milan (£3m) is the only signing of similarity I can recall.
Laursen won both the Champions League and Serie A with the Italian giants before joining Villa. A serious underlying knee injury, which plagued the outstanding defender for his entire career, would restrict the Danish international to just 84 career appearances for Villa.
Whilst that’s the extreme ‘worst case’ – the best case is that Villa have pulled off a genuine coup.
Mings returns with the quality we crave in the position, the spirit of the promotion side and with a point to prove at the very top of the game.
There’s risk, for sure, but with risk, sometimes, comes reward.
As such, he’s very, very welcome back at Villa Park.