When Southampton released Tyrone Mings from their academy as a 17-year-old, few would have expected that he would go on to become an established Premier League centre-back, as well as an England regular.
The Aston Villa ace was released by the Saints in 2008 and after a brief stint with Bristol Rovers, he found himself in non-league with Yate Town (per Transfermarkt).
He then moved on to Chippenham Town where he did enough to convince Ipswich Town to sign him for £10k in 2012, where the defender would enjoy a three-year spell.
Mings would make 63 appearances for the Tractor Boys, contributing one goal and eight assists (per Transfermarkt), with his performances catching the eye of AFC Bournemouth, as the Cherries paid £8 million to bring him to the club following their promotion to the top-flight in 2015 (per BBC Sport).
Unfortunately for the Englishman, his time at Bournemouth will perhaps best be remembered for his long-term injury problems, which meant he would make just 23 appearances for the first-team in his time at the club.
However, he earned a loan move to Aston Villa in the Championship in January 2019 and after being a huge part of the Villans’ promotion to the Premier League, the Birmingham-based club paid £20 million to make his loan stay a permanent one (per BBC Sport).
Since then, Mings has seen his value soar, as he earned his first England call-up in September 2019, and he made his debut for the Three Lions the following month in a 6-0 win against Bulgaria (per Transfermarkt).
Following his international debut, which was unfortunately marred by racist chants from the Bulgarian fans, England manager Gareth Southgate was full of praise for Mings, saying:
“To me, since I have been watching him for the past 12 months or so, he’s displayed outstanding leadership qualities throughout that time. I thought I would see that tonight and I saw that tonight. He’s an impressive young man.” (per Independent)
The £24.3 million-rated centre-back has enjoyed a superb start to the 2020/21 season with Villa, having contributed two goals and one assist in seven top-flight appearances, which has helped him average a very strong 7.22 rating (per WhoScored).
It is impossible to know whether his career would have gone the same way had Southampton kept faith in him back in 2008 but it is difficult to argue against the fact that he is now a very talented centre-back who the Saints would have loved to have in their side.