The lower reaches of English football rarely get much of a mention and quite rightly so at times. Although some of the football being played is far from world class, every so often a player from the lower leagues, emerges out of nowhere to take everyone by surprise. Not too long ago Tyrone Mings was playing non-League football and working as a mortgage broker, trying to earn a living in the real world. Now he is being linked with a move to Chelsea and Arsenal. So who is this 21-year-old? Why has he suddenly become so sought-after? Here’s a look at why the top clubs are after him.
Born in Bath, a city in Somerset in 1995, Mings career has seen its fair share of highs and lows already. He started his career in 2001, when he joined Southampton’s academy. He was at the South coast club for the next eight years before he was released by the club in 2009 when the club went into League One.
Mings was only 15 at the time and had to be content with a two-year football scholarship at Millfield School. When he turned 18, he started to play non-league football while earning on a day job on the side. After stints with non-league sides Yate Town and Chippenham Town, Mings finally got his big break when he signed for Ipswich in December 2012, for whom he has been playing ever since.
Style of Play
Primarily deployed as a left back, Mings is very versatile and is capable of playing as a centre back as well. Once written off as too small to play as a centre back, Mings now stands at a towering 6’3 and has proven his doubters wrong. His pace and his height means he is comfortable in both positions and has not only the aerial game but also good timing, when it comes to tackles or interceptions.
The Englishman’s biggest strength is without a doubt, his tackling. One of the first things that is evident about his style of play is that his timing, when it comes to either tackling or intercepting balls is second to none. Not only is he good on the ground, he is excellent in the air as well. He is a towering presence in both boxes and has time and again used his aerial prowess to great advantage. As most modern full backs are, Mings is good going forward as well and already this season, he has shown a particular penchant for providing the penultimate pass with precision.
If there is one thing that Mings has to work on, it is his ability to hold onto the ball. His passing although good in the final-third of the pitch can sometimes go astray and he has to develop more consistency in his passing and concentrate more on the job that he is supposed to do, defend.
Having signed a new contract that will keep him at Portman Road until 2017, it is highly unlikely that Mings is on his way out immediately. But if Chelsea and Arsenal, two clubs who are rumoured to be interested in him, come calling, it would be hard for him to turn him down. Especially Arsenal, as that would mean that he will reunite with his former Saints teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Tall, quick and blessed with an keen eye for both a pass and a tackle, Mings is destined to go places. The 21-year-old defender has all the qualities necessary qualities to shine as a modern-day full back. Although he might not move in January, a move in the summer to a club like Arsenal would certain do wonders for his career.