By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

19th Aug, 2023 | 11:10am

Dan Bardell: Diego Carlos to replace injured Tyrone Mings, Pau Torres to play left-back

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

A centre-back partnership of Diego Carlos and Ezri Konsa is needed at Aston Villa following Tyrone Mings’ injury to help alleviate set-piece problems, according to Dan Bardell.

Mings’ early injury was a shock to Villa fans, with The Guardian reporting (14 August) that it could see him sidelined for the rest of the season, meaning a replacement will be needed long-term at centre-back.

The defensive issues were there for all of St James Park to see on the weekend following Villa’s 5-1 thrashing, but the Magpies’ second goal revealed an issue regarding set pieces.

Bardell claims that to iron out any further issues from opposition long-balls and set pieces, a partnership of Carlos and Konsa would be Unai Emery’s best bet, with Pau Torres shifting to left-back.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “I think Mings not being there is a problem from direct balls and set-pieces which is why I would think it’s going to be Diego Carlos that comes in.

“He’s a bit bigger and more aerially dominant than Konsa or Pau Torres, so he probably has to start.

“Whenever anyone clears the ball aerially, it feels like it’s Tyrone Mings. I think there are Newcastle were lucky with offsides in the game.

“The second goal was very, very close to being offside and I actually think Matty Cash was fouled and if it had been looked at properly it would have been disallowed because Cash being fouled kept the Newcastle player onside.

“I’m slightly concerned about set-pieces, but we’ll see against Everton whether there’s a problem or not.

“If there’s one team that can cause problems from set pieces it’s a Sean Dyche Everton team! A lot of big boys in that side.

“From that point of view with set pieces and direct balls in mind, it would have to be Diego Carlos who plays. Pau Torres will play left-back and Konsa and Carlos centre-backs.

“If you look at Konsa and Torres, they’re kind of sweeper defenders that sit off and pick at loose balls without really engaging with their opposition.

“Mings is more dominant and he will push up and try to win the ball as an aggressor. That’s why Konsa and Torres wouldn’t work.

“Carlos and Konsa would give Villa a little bit more height from set pieces.”

In other Aston Villa news, a World Cup-winning full-back is reportedly keen on a Premier League move amid his links to Villa Park.