Mings, Konsa told to ‘be careful’ with Haaland; Marseille chief bemoans Kamara transfer

Jason Soutar
Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsaexchange words at the end of the Premier League match at Elland Road

Martin Keown has told Aston Villa’s centre-halves Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa to “be careful” when defending Man City striker Erling Haaland this weekend.

The Premier League champions face Steven Gerrard’s side at Villa Park on Saturday evening.

Haaland has started the season in outrageous form, netting nine goals in August as City sit second behind Invincibles-elect Arsenal.

The Gunners beat Villa 2-1 at the Emirates during the week in a scoreline that really flattered the Midlands outfit.

It has been a woeful start to the season with the Villans sat 19th in the Premier League with one win and four losses in their opening five fixtures.

Things are expected to go from bad to worse against Pep Guardiola’s men after they demolished Nottingham Forest 6-0 during the week.

Villa have been offered a word of advice on how to contain Haaland by former Arsenal defender Keown.

The BT Sport pundit has told Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa to “do things early” and “be careful”.

Truly revolutionary stuff, Martin.

“As a central defender at the weekend, if you’re Mings or Konsa, you’ve got to do things early,” Keown said.

“Against Haaland, you’ve got to be early, you’ve got to win the ball.

“You have to be careful when somebody is rapid, you have to be careful where he’s taking you.

“He will take you into areas where he will attack the back of you.”

Villa were busy in the summer transfer window but have been unable to hit their stride in the early part of the season.

They got the majority of their business done early on in the window and were able to complete the surprise, yet impressive, signing of Boubacar Kamara.

The French midfielder was linked with a host of clubs around Europe as he approached the end of his Marseille contract.

He could have stayed with Marseille – who qualified for this season’s Champions League – but opted to join the Villans.

Kamara’s move to the Premier League has been bemoaned by Marseille chief Pablo Longoria, who is unhappy with the growing difference between the English top flight and other leagues around Europe.

“On the mercato, there are too many differences between the Premier League and the other leagues,” Longoria reportedly told Le10 Sport.

“We saw it with Bouba (Kamara) who preferred to go and play at Aston Villa instead of playing in the Champions League.

“In Italy and Germany, they try to do things differently. In France, the level has increased, the clubs invest more in the mercato. Covid forced us to maintain the wage bill better, which allowed us to reflect.”