Steven Gerrard justifies decision after replacing Tyrone Mings as Aston Villa captain with John McGinn

Steven Gerrard embracing John McGinn

John McGinn has been chosen by Steven Gerrard as the new captain of Aston Villa, replacing Tyrone Mings.

Mings had been the Aston Villa captain since the departure of Jack Grealish last summer. However, Gerrard was not in charge of the team at that point. He took over as head coach in November, guiding the club to 14th in the Premier League.

Now, the former Rangers boss has decided to remove Mings from his captaincy role. Instead, McGinn will get the armband for the new season.

The Scotland international has represented Aston Villa since 2018, when they signed him from Hibernian. By the end of McGinn’s debut season at Villa Park, the club had regained Premier League status.

In total, McGinn has made 147 appearances for Villa, more than he managed for Hibernian or St Mirren before.

There had been some reports that Villa would consider cashing in on him this summer. However, he is under contract until 2025 and his new role as captain is a clear indication of where his future lies.

In support of McGinn, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez will serve as vice-captain and Ashley Young will be the club captain. Meanwhile, Mings – who has been linked with an exit, although that talk has gone quiet for a while – will start afresh without the responsibility of being in the leadership group.

Explaining the decisions, Gerrard told the club’s official website that McGinn, Martinez and Young are ideal leaders for the squad.

Gerrard confirms Mings talks after John McGinn decision

He said: “John has demonstrated that he is ready to take on the captaincy through his performances on the pitch combined with his attitude and application in training.

“He is a popular member of the dressing room who sets high standards and expectations of himself.

“Emi is a respected senior member of the squad while Ashley Young’s experience speaks for itself and he is the perfect ambassador for the first team.

“Naturally, I have had to have a discussion with Tyrone Mings and have explained my reasons for making this decision. More importantly, I believe that not having the responsibility of the captaincy will allow Tyrone to focus more on his own game which can only benefit him and the team.”

In a tweet, Mings diplomatically reacted: “For me this isn’t about John or I, it’s about what’s right for Aston Villa. I have no issues with the manager’s decision; I’ve loved leading this team.

“Anyone who knows @jmcginn7 knows how infectious he is and it will be an honour to play underneath his captaincy.”

Mings has two years left on his contract with Villa, for whom he has made 128 appearances in all competitions since joining from AFC Bournemouth in 2019. However, the centre-back now faces competition for his place from new arrival Diego Carlos.

If he isn’t going to be a regular starter any more, it makes sense for Gerrard to count on someone who will be as his captain.

READ MORESteven Gerrard tells Aston Villa fans what they want to hear when analysing recent transfer business