Date published: Thursday 15th August 2019 3:35
The 26-year-old, a £20million summer signing from Bournemouth, impressed during a loan spell at Villa Park last season and has been tipped to secure international recognition if he continues his progress.
Smith is convinced he has a future England player on his hands and, as Mings prepares to face his former club in the Premier League on Saturday, wants to see more of the same from him.
He said at his pre-match press conference: “I don’t think we’re blessed with too many left-footed centre-backs in the country. I’m fortunate, I’ve got two because I’ve got Kortney Hause as well.
“He catches the eye, certainly, with how he plays. He’s very good on the ball, he’s athletic, he’s good in the air as he showed last week.
“I think he’s a tremendous talent and the more games he gets, the more he will come into people’s minds, and that will probably include the England coaching staff as well.”
Smith is confident there are players within his squad who have the potential to become full internationals, and has reminded them that they are now in the perfect place to showcase their talent.
He said: “The players know what an opportunity this season is for them, first performing for Aston Villa in the Premier League, but then putting themselves in the shop window for the likes of international coaches to come and watch them.
“We have got a number of internationals within the squad already, but the likes of Kortney Hause, Tyrone, Jack Grealish, people like that, it gives them the opportunity to showcase their talents in the top league.”
Meanwhile, Smith has played down speculation that striker Jonathan Kodjia could yet leave the club this summer, with the foreign transfer market still open.
Asked if there had been any approaches, he said: “No, and we don’t welcome any because Jonathan’s happy here and we’re happy with him, and we’re all looking forward to the Premier League season.”