Leeds United Target Set To Join Aston Villa: A Blow For Bielsa?

Not too long ago, reports from Derbyshire Live indicated that Leeds United were one of the clubs who were in the mix to sign Bournemouth’s defender Tyrone Mings on loan.

The same report added that Championship clubs like Derby County, Nottingham Forest, West Brom and Aston Villa were also interested. However, the latest update from Sky Sports suggests that Villa have managed to win the race for the centre back and his loan move is likely to be finalised soon.

A signing like Mings would have excited the Whites fans but it seems like the club is unlikely to sign any defender in this transfer window. Mings has fallen down the pecking order and has struggled for game time under Eddie Howe. The 25-year-old had suffered a horrific knee injury which sidelined him for close to a year, and since then, the defender has found chances few and far between in the first team at the Vitality Stadium.

Leeds United are leading the Championship table, but there have been occasions when Marcelo Bielsa had to use makeshift defenders in the centre back role. Kalvin Phillips who is a defensive midfielder has played as a centre back. Even right back Luke Ayling has been deployed in that position as the club lost its other centre-halves to injuries. 

In fact, Bielsa had transformed right-back Gaetano Berardi as a centre back at the beginning of the season, and it is likely that he would continue as a centre back once he recovers from his injury. Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper have also been sidelined before and the club had to use academy product like Aapo Halme in some of the games.

Mings would have sorted some of this dilemma though it would have been interesting to see whether he would have continued as the first choice centre back when all the defenders of Leeds United became fit. Standing at 6ft 5, Mings has a towering presence at the back and the English defender moved to Bournemouth in 2015 for a then club record fee of £8m. One can understand from that how much the Cherries rated him, but injuries have stopped his career from reaching its full glory.

Villa can probably offer the defender regular playing time, and that might have tipped this signing in their favour. Once the likes of Cooper and Berardi return from their injury, we feel Mings would have struggled for game time. Knowing Bielsa, it was always unlikely that he would have gone for a centre half when his main defenders are close to coming back. As long as there are no new significant injuries to centre-backs, we don’t really see this as a blow to the Whites.

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Ayush Chaurasia

Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.

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