SOMETIMES in football, things are just not meant to be.

Tyrone Mings left Cherries this week to join Aston Villa in a reported £26.5million deal, bringing to an end his four-year stay at Vitality Stadium.

The defender was one of the first players signed up by Eddie Howe after he guided Cherries to the Premier League in 2015, joining from Ipswich for around £8million, a club-record deal at the time.

Speaking about Mings upon his arrival, Howe said: “He fits our profile perfectly and was the type of player we were looking for. He has very good physical attributes, he is tall and quick.

“He really does tick all the boxes in terms of his physicality. He is also good technically and can play.

“He fits our mould so I am delighted and looking forward to seeing him play and develop into our squad. With his attributes and how we play, I am sure he will do very well and think it’s a good match.”

But sadly, Mings’ time at Cherries is set to be remembered more for the games he missed as opposed to the ones he played.

In the same week as Mings arrived, a 21-year-old Ryan Fraser was sent to Ipswich on loan after being deemed not quite ready to compete in the top flight. His development since then is clear to see, named as Cherries player of the year last season after a combined 23 goals and assists.

Meanwhile Mings, now 26, featured just 23 times in total for the Dorset club.

Following his debut in a League Cup win at Hartlepool in August 2015, the defender was introduced at half-time against Leicester four days later to make his Premier League bow.

However, disaster struck and Mings was withdrawn after just 12 minutes with a serious knee injury, which would keep him out of action for over a year.

The Bath-born talent then suffered another big setback the following season, banned for five-matches for an alleged stamp on Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford.

And any hopes Mings had of cementing his spot in the starting XI the following season were again dashed by injury, not playing between September 2017 and May 2018 after suffering a back injury.

He was part of the squad during the last campaign, featuring seven times, but first-choice duo Steve Cook and Nathan Ake proved difficult to shift, meaning Mings was allowed out on loan to Aston Villa in January.

There he thrived and showed exactly what potential Cherries saw when they signed him, becoming a key cog in Dean Smith’s side as they sealed promotion to the top flight through the Championship play-offs.

So when a deal worth £26.5million came in from the Midlands club, it proved the best for all parties.

From a business perspective, for a player unlikely to force his way in immediately as first choice, especially following the arrivals of Chris Mepham and Lloyd Kelly in recent months, the offer was too good to turn down. Mings’ value rose around £804,000 per appearance he made during his time at Cherries, or £13,055 per minute played.

For Villa, they have a centre-back they know they can rely on and whose value could conceivably increase in the current market, if their new man can replicate last season’s consistency in front of a more global audience against higher quality opponents.

And for Mings, he gets a fresh start and a real chance to prove himself as a Premier League player. In 17 top-tier appearances at Cherries, Mings was on the winning side just four times, three of which came as a last-minute cameo substitute.

Cherries chief executive Neill Blake said after Mings penned a new contract in 2017, “Tyrone is a player of huge talent and potential and someone who has a very bright future at this club.”

But as Mings himself expressed following his departure this week: “I close this chapter with a very heavy heart. Sometimes things don’t work out how you planned and unfortunately I wasn’t able to achieve the things I wanted to at AFC Bournemouth.”