The sound of the summer for Aston Villa fans has been a single tweet - ‘#AnnounceMings’ - parroted in reply by many on every post put forth by the Villa twitter account. #MondayMotivation? #AnnounceMings. #Thursdaythoughts? #AnnounceMings. #FF. #AnnouceMings. It’s been everywhere.
And now, Aston Villa are a step away from announcing the permanent signing of Tyrone Mings after an incredible loan spell that saw the club propelled to promotion. A step closer towards the inevitable, yet the wanted, being fulfilled. A deal for Tyrone Mings was amongst the largest wishes of the AVFC fanbase - and here we are. With it done.
And it wasn’t cheap. After a few weeks of negotiating, Aston Villa have sent a final offer in, and it’s been accepted. CEO Christian Purslow has signed off on an initial deal and Mings will be a Villan. At some point in the future Aston Villa will have to hand over twenty-six and a half million pounds to AFC Bournemouth for Tyrone Mings. Right now, they’ll be parting with twenty million.
It’s a big fee, to say the least.
And like any big fee, this big fee is there to critique - it should be rightly critiqued and we would do well not to shout down in the faces of those good people - on our side - who raise concerns about it. It’s high. It’s a steep fee, at an almost eye-watering cost, but Aston Villa couldn’t really afford to move on from Mings. After all the messages, it’d be easy to think that a part of the fanbase wouldn’t accept it at all. It’s a massive fee, but Villa couldn’t not pay it.
Villa had to buy Tyrone Mings at any cost - for a number of reasons. The fans demanded it. No replacement would have been deemed suitable nor acceptable. He also fit into the team and worked well in the system. He was an incredible player for Aston Villa - a team who throughout history have been blessed with centre-backs - and Tyrone, quite literally, stands shoulder to shoulder with giants. He was a special player that captured hearts and minds alike. He was damn good - and would you want anyone else in that backline? No. At any rate, you’d have to bed them into the team - a team Tyrone is already bedded into. A team he became the bedrock of.
The market made this fee possible, and it made damn sure that Villa were buying. How could they not take part in a market that might deem them surplus-to-requirements in April and bin them back to the Championship? There are new rules now, new rules that Villa have to abide by.
If you’re still sad about the cost - let me try to cheer you up. Bournemouth paid £16 million for Jordan Ibe. AC Milan want £12 million for Fabio Borini. Harry Maguire might be sold for £100 million. Dominic Solanke joined Bournemouth (those lot again) for £19 million and hasn’t yet scored a goal. Bristol City, Stoke City and Leeds want £30 million for Adam Webster, Jack Butland and Kalvin Phillips respectively.
The price paid for Mings isn’t an overpayment. It’s not an underpayment. It’s just a payment, that stands alone. It can be judged and critiqued, but it is the price that the market demanded. The price that the market now demands for anyone worth a damn.
Let us not be so quick to forget that Tyrone Mings was entering near-legendary status for Aston Villa in just eighteen games of football. On a saved point, it was usually due to his unstoppable performances - likewise for a win. It was always him, roaring into the earth on the blow of final whistle, and always him standing heroic above everyone else. Those memories, and the forecast of memories yet to be made are tantalising enough.
Pay the fee, pay it all. The Premier League has been a fool’s game for long enough. The Mings deal, at worst, may be a single shot of madness in an ocean of raging insanity.