Tyrone Mings missed four matches for Aston Villa through injury, having been forced off in the 23rd minute against Leicester City.
There was to be no easing-in period for the 26-year-old though, as he went straight into the centre of the back three, playing the entirety of Villa’s 2-1 victory over Burnley.
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And the decision to throw him back into the action was justified by Mings’ performance throughout that match, as he made an integral contribution to ensuring Dean Smith’s men got the three points at Turf Moor.
89th minute v full time
Great character shown today pic.twitter.com/Bq3trZs7UX
— Tyrone Mings (@OfficialTM_3) January 1, 2020
The Villa ace put in a colossal performance, making a total of nine clearances – the highest number of any player on the pitch – as well as coming up with one interception and winning three aerial duels.
Red Herring or Real Hero: Only hardcore Villa fans will get all of them right….
He was also comfortable on the ball, which did almost get him in trouble at one stage, but that saw him maintain a pass success rate of 79%, while playing some progressive passes that helped Villa to get up the pitch.
Fans were delighted with the performance, with superlatives being used including “immense”, “hero” and an “absolute animal”.
— David o mahony (@Davidomahony18) January 1, 2020
quality as per boss
— Connor (@Walks2K) January 1, 2020
Immense today Tyrone absolutely superb #AVFC
— Nathan Cotterill (@NathanCotterill) January 1, 2020
You absolute hero
— B_RYE (@1_COOKIE__1) January 1, 2020
Exactly what we need you absolute animal
— PeterA81 (@Pete81802135) January 1, 2020
— David Jones (@djone349) January 1, 2020
There was also reference made to the fact that he has been missed and that fans are happy to see him back in the team.
Villa recorded three losses and a win during his absence, which included the highly frustrating 3-0 defeat at the hands of Watford.
One fan stated that it is “no coincidence” that another victory was earned upon his arrival back in the starting lineup.
So good to have you back! Thank you for EVERYTHING in 2019 – here’s to a bigger, better 2020!
— Clear and Obvious Dani (@beds_villafan) January 1, 2020
Great to see you back big man, you made the difference at the back. May you have an awesome 2020.
— Sil (@SilenusGreen) January 1, 2020
You come back we win. No coincidence needed. Much love! :d
— Finley Chalmers (@finley_chalmers) January 1, 2020
Great to have you back!
— Sam Williams (@Sammy_Wils) January 1, 2020