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Should AFC Bournemouth keep Tyrone Mings or should he sign for Villa? It’s a simple question, but it doesn’t have a simple answer. The AFC Bournemouth fans want him (according to a poll we ran 70% said Keep), but does Eddie Howe?
Where does he fit in?
A fully-fit first-choice AFC Bournemouth back four (we don’t like a back three) would consist of Adam Smith on the left, Nathan Ake and Steve Cook in the middle and Nathaniel Clyne on the right. We think few would disagree with this, but it immediately raises questions.
As we all know Clyne is only on loan and there are no guarantees he will stay. Do AFC Bournemouth fans want him to stay? Not that we have any influence, but our poll was pretty much 50-50. Does Eddie Howe want him? Does he want to stay? Can Tyrone Mings fit in at right back. We don’t think so. Can Mings oust Ake or Cook, again, we don’t think so. Can he play on the left? Maybe, but not as first choice.
So, it’s unlikely that Mings would be a first choice in defence, but if he wasn’t on loan at Villa would he have got a start in recent weeks? We think so.
Central defence is undoubtedly where his strength lies. And, who else do we have to fill these positions? The two candidates that have played are Chris Mepham and Jack Simpson.
Are Simpson and Mepham better than Mings?
Chris Mepham has been steady, but he still looks like a work in progress, and at only 21, this is what he is. Like most players that step up from the Championship, he will need to adapt, but conversely, he will need game time to get used to the pace and physicality of the Premier League. He has had game time, but probably sooner than expected.
Jack Simpson is slightly different, as is often said, he is one for the future, but he is 22, and may need a season on loan like Mings to learn. He has struggled at key moments in the games he has played, but he definitely looks like he has the makings of a Premier League defender.
Neither Simpson or Mepham have the quality, yet, of Ake or Cook, and in our opinion Mings, which is the very reason that he should be back for next season. Hope your listening Eddie.