After getting sent off just before half-time against Crystal Palace, Tyrone Mings would no doubt have been relieved to see his Aston Villa teammates pick up the slack brilliantly and come away with an emphatic 3-0 victory.
The centre-back subsequently missed the clash against Chelsea through suspension, but with his one-game ban now up, is free to be used by Dean Smith.
And whilst Kortney Hause and Ezri Konsa performed impressively well to hold Frank Lampard’s side to a 1-1 draw in the Premier League last time out, Smith must bring back the £50k-a-week earning Mings for the game against Manchester United on Friday night.
His former teammate, Tommy Elphick, raved about his leadership skills, and added that he’s improved considerably technically too. He said: “He can almost be the manager’s voice out on the pitch. When he’s in the team meetings, he absorbs everything quickly so he knows what the manager wants and is able to transfer that out onto the pitch.
“The biggest improvement is how he has developed technically. He always had the attributes to be a top centre-half, with his height, power and pace. Being left-footed as a centre-half these days is always good as well as there’s not too many about.”
His current teammate at Villa, John McGinn, dubbed him a “colossus“, and his return to the fold on Friday night could hold the key to marshalling a multi-million pound United attack featuring the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford.
Organising the back-line, and making sure they can stand up to one of the Premier League’s most dangerous attacks, will be a tall order. Getting Mings into the team would be Villa’s safe bet to ensuring they can stop them.