‘Very strange’ - Pundit tells Aston Villa’s Unai Emery to make bold decision on club captaincy

John McGinn was named as the new Aston Villa captain for the 2022/23 campaign
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Former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has encouraged Unai Emery to reinstate Tyrone Mings as club captain. The defender was removed from his role at the start of the season.

Mings joined Villa from Bournemouth in 2019 and was handed the captain’s armband 20 months later following Jack Grealish’s big money move to Manchester City. The 29-year-old remained in charge for the following two campaigns as they finished eleventh and fourteenth in the Premier League until Steven Gerrard replaced him with John McGinn in the summer.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Agbonlahor said: “Let John McGinn go back to the John McGinn before the armband, playing freely, go and enjoy your game. Let John McGinn get back in that side, go and play his football, which he’s very good at.

“Just give it back to Tyrone Mings, he looks like he loves being captain. Tyrone Mings looks like a very good captain, and [it was] very strange for Gerrard to take it off him.”

Gerrard’s decision to take the armband away from Mings came as a shock to many fans even despite the defender’s poor form. Following the Liverpool icon’s sacking last month, new captain McGinn was dropped from the line-up by interim boss Aaron Danks for their 4-0 thrashing of Brentford.

With Villa struggling this season, Emery could look to name a new captain following his arrival. The Spaniard joins the club from Villarreal - three years after his turbulent spell with Arsenal came to an end.

With the stripping of Mings’ captaincy likely to have caused a divide in the dressing room at the start of the season, many could be relieved if Emery is to bring him back to the top, while it will allow McGinn to get back to his best.

The midfielder has been one of Villa’s best players over the past four years, winning their Player of the Season award as they won promotion to the top flight, as well as bagging 21 goal contributions in the Premier League since.