Tyrone Mings: Scouting Liverpool’s Reported Summer Defensive Target

Ipswich Town’s Tyrone Mings has been linked with a move to Liverpool in the summer, and Jack Lusby provides a report on the defender.

Liverpool are interested in signing Ipswich Town defender Tyrone Mings, reports claim, and the 21-year-old could be another high-potential acquisition for manager Brendan Rodgers to mould.

Matt Law of The Telegraph claims that “Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been on the trail of Mings for some time, with Newcastle [United] the latest Premier League club to show a strong interest.”

Law continues that “the £10million-rated Mings is unlikely to be at the Suffolk club next season” and, with January set to be a quiet month for the Reds, a summer move for Mings is more likely.

At a reported £10 million, is Mings the right signing for Rodgers in the summer?


2014/15 Form Guide

Mings is part of a highly ambitious Ipswich side which has mounted a surprising challenge for the Championship title this season under manager Mick McCarthy.

The Tractor Boys have so far won 14 of their 27 league games this season, and sit comfortably in a play-off position and just one point from league leaders AFC Bournemouth.

Typically lining up in a 4-3-3 formation, McCarthy’s side thrive on a direct, attacking style of play, and owe much of their success to the goalscoring talents of 31-year-old right-forward Daryl Murphy, who has netted 18 times in 26 games.

However, a heavy feature of Ipswich’s game this season has been the probing forward play of Mings and fellow full-back Jonathan Parr, who provide the side with added width on the attack.

Ipswich have the five highest number of goals scored in the Championship this season.

Furthermore, their defensive record, having conceded just 27 goals, is the third best in their division.

This success is harboured in McCarthy’s ambition, as highlighted in a recent interview with BBC Sport:

“I would love to take Ipswich to the Premier League. Personally, I’d love to do it because I don’t think I’d ever get another job in the Premier League. If they’re not going to give me one, I’m going to have to boot the door down and gatecrash.”

Unlikely challengers under an unlikely manager—Ipswich seems the perfect place for Mings to establish his talents this season.


Strengths and Weaknesses

Naturally, as a defender, Mings can take a large portion of the credit for Ipswich’s superior defensive record this season—in his 22 appearances so far this season, Ipswich have conceded 23 goals, at a clear average of just under a goal per game.

Obviously the calibre of opposition is much higher in the Premier League, but Liverpool have conceded 27 goals from 22 games so far this season.

Mings typically operates as a left-back, and is an accomplished defensive outlet.

Compared statistically to Liverpool’s current left-back options this season, Mings is an effective defender:

Mings Defensive Comparison

(Note: All statistics based on average per game, via WhoScored.)

As evident, Mings is a more prolific physical defender than Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson this season, completing 2.4 tackles on average per game to their 0.8 and 1.6 respectively.

However, Mings has conceded more fouls per game than both of them, suggested a lack of discipline.

Furthermore, with 2.5 interceptions on average per game, Mings is statistically the most perceptive of defenders, as is also evident with his superior average of offsides won per game—the left-back is comfortable playing in a well-engineered high line.

In terms of attacking play, too, Mings is comparable to his Merseyside counterparts:

Mings Attacking Comparison

(Note: Dribbles, crosses and key passes averaged per game, via WhoScored)

Obviously there are significant variable to consider, with different levels of opposition and different styles of play, but Mings is an effective left-back in terms of both defence and attack.

Most interestingly, the 21-year-old makes more dribbles per game on average than the hugely attacking Liverpool first-choice Alberto Moreno.

Hampered by the dominance of now-West Ham left-back Aaron Cresswell last season, Mings also performed well in a centre-back role, and this versatility would surely endear to Rodgers.

With these qualities considered, where would Mings fit in if he moved to Liverpool?


Where Would Mings Fit in at Liverpool?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, December 29, 2014: Liverpool's Alberto Moreno celebrates scoring the first goal against Swansea City during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mings’ balanced prowess in defence and attack, as well as his versatility, lend the 21-year-old to various potential roles at Liverpool.

Firstly, with the likely departures of both Enrique and Johnson this summer, a void will open in Rodgers’ squad in terms of competition for Moreno at left-back – while Johnson is a natural right-back, he has arguably played better on the left this season.

Mings is clearly an accomplished left-back, and his perceptive qualities in a high line, as well as his ability to probe forward in the attacking phase, could make him the perfect deputy to Moreno in a back four.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 23, 2014: Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho in action against Middlesbrough during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

However, if Rodgers’ impressive back three formation prevails next season, Mings’ ability to play as a centre-back would also lend him to a back-up role for the imperious Mamadou Sakho.

At just 21, and physically versatile in a way similar to Emre Can, Mings would fit in well within Rodgers’ squad and play a variety of roles.

While £10 million seems a steep price for even the most outstanding of Championship talents, Liverpool could do a lot worse than adding Tyrone Mings to their squad to provide depth, quality and competition next season.

Should Liverpool sign Tyrone Mings in the summer? Let us know in the comments below.