Journalist Luke Hatfield believes that Gareth Southgate picked Tyrone Mings over his Aston Villa teammate Ezri Konsa for his England squad last week largely due to him being a left-sided centre-back.
Mings already has 14 international caps to his name, while Konsa is still waiting for his first appearance for his country.
Which centre-backs did Southgate select for his latest England squad?
With Harry Maguire injured, and Ben White still settling into life at Arsenal, it was always going to be interesting to see who Southgate would call up for the side’s upcoming matches with Andorra and Hungary.
John Stones has been an ever-present in the team in recent months, and was unsurprisingly selected. Fikayo Tomori also earned a well-deserved recall after his fine form for AC Milan at the start of the season.
This left two spaces available, and it seems that Konsa may have been in the reckoning along with Mings and Wolves’ Conor Coady. In the end, the latter two got the nod, leaving Konsa to focus on his club football for the moment.
What has Hatfield said about Southgate’s decision?
Hatfield feels that some Villa supporters could be wondering why Mings was picked ahead of Konsa once again. The Express & Star journalist believes that it simply comes down to Mings being a left-sided central defender, plus that fact that he offers leadership both on and off the pitch.
Explaining Southgate’s thinking, Hatfield told GIVEMESPORT: “Southgate has probably got a squad which he’s pretty settled with. If there was an injury to a right-sided centre-half you’d think Konsa’s name would be right up there in Southgate’s mind but at the moment there isn’t.
“Tyrone Mings is obviously left-sided, so there’s a lot of Villa fans who maybe question why Mings is in and Konsa isn’t. That’s probably why, because he’s a left-sided player and he can replace Harry Maguire.
“We’ve seen it at the Euros, and not only that, he’s a fantastic leader as well, vocal in the dressing room and stands up for other causes as well. He’s just, in general, a great person by all accounts and you can understand why Southgate trusts him.”
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Who’s having a better season – Mings or Konsa?
There is actually very little to choose between the pair right now.
As per WhoScored, Mings is ahead of his counterpart when it comes to shots blocked (11 to 7) and interceptions (9 to 6), while Konsa leads the way with regards to clearances (24 to 16).
Overall, Mings has received the slightly higher average match rating (6.92 to 6.77) suggesting that Southgate may have made the right call on this occasion.
If Konsa can keep developing his game, though, his first England call-up might not be too far away.