Heaton backs England new boy Tyrone Mings to make a big impression
The 26-year-old is in the Three Lions squad to face Bulgaria and Kosovo in Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Tom Heaton insists Aston Villa team-mate Tyrone Mings thoroughly deserves his maiden England call-up.
Mings, 26, was included in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Bulgaria and Kosovo.
The centre-back has yet to be capped by the Three Lions but has impressed in the opening weeks of the Premier League campaign, having spent last season on loan at Villa Park while the club were in the Championship.
Southgate was full of praise for Mings when asked why he was included this time around – labelling the former Ipswich and Bournemouth man an “outstanding athlete”.
He will now compete with the likes of Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez and Michael Keane for a place in Southgate’s side for the clash with Bulgaria at Wembley next Saturday.
Heaton is likely to be among the substitutes but the goalkeeper is certain Mings deserves to be in the ranks.
“I have been massively impressed with Tyrone, seeing him at close quarters,” he said.
“I didn’t know too much about him other than he came for a big fee. However I have to say day in and day out he has been magnificent. There are a lot of good centre-halves in the Premier League.
“I could name seven or eight English ones that are knocking on the door – but I think he warrants his chance. To be honest, he has been absolutely outstanding. (He is) big, strong, quick and good on the ball.
“He thoroughly warrants it and I’m really pleased for him.”
Asked if he had spoken to Mings about his first call-up, former Burnley goalkeeper Heaton replied: “We have had a few discussions about it.
“He is obviously over the moon and rightly so, it is a big moment for anyone so I’m absolutely delighted for him.
“I’ve said to him if he needs any info on next week or anything he needs to bring, it is always difficult on your first trip on what to bring along or what is going on, so I’ve told him to give me a bell.
“Gareth have shown in his selections over the last couple of years that if you are performing in the Premier League you will get your chance (no matter who you play for) and this is another marker for that, definitely.”