Arsene Wenger’s eye for signing a promising English player with exceptional talent is pretty good.
The success of winger Theo Walcott and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the Premier League proves that Wenger knows where to go if he is to sign a future England international. On the defensive side, left back Ashley Cole is probably the most notable English defender that has come through the Arsenal academy at a very young age enhanced career massively.
With English football in a state of peril at the moment, exciting English players is exactly what is needed in order to reignite the spark back into the national set up. The latest home-grown prospect to be linked with a move to The Emirates Stadium is Ipswich Town left back Tyrone Mings. There is no question that the Gunners have had a torrid time with injuries to the backline. The likes of Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have failed to achieve a consistent run in the side in the 2014/2015 campaign so far, and Wenger sees Mings as a player with a bright future.
It doesn’t look like Arsenal are the only Premier League side looking into the possibility of snapping up Mings’ signature. The likes of Europa League competitors Everton, relegation burdened Sunderland and North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur also think Mings is capable of cutting it in the English top flight. Mings was also the subject of a failed £3m bid from Crystal Palace in the summer. So who is Tyrone Mings?
Mings’ only breakthrough to the first team squad came this season and was an understudy to former full back Aaron Cresswell, who has since made the step up to the Premier League with high flying West Ham United. The 21-year-old defender started life at the prestigious Southampton academy, famed for bringing through the likes of Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Real Madrid and Wales superstar Gareth Bale.
However, Mings was deemed surplus to requirements, and eventually dropped to non-league level football to play for Yate Town and Chippenham Town. 13 appearances and two years later, Mings found himself plying his trade at Portman Road in the second tier of English football. To go from the eighth to the second tier of English football in such a short space of time is the fairy tale story that every football fan wants to hear.
As well as catching the eye of some top clubs on the pitch, he is also a role model of a footballer off it. On Christmas Day 2013, Mings spent it feeding the homeless, and this season, refunded any supporter who brought his shirt with his old number on it after it was changed to number three. His determination to win tackles in vital areas of the pitch is immense, and he has attacking talent that many full backs can only dream of.
If Mings was to make the daunting step up to the Premier League, then his attitude on and off the pitch will not look out of place to some of the most experienced English defenders in the top flight.