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Arsenal track Ipswich Town’s Tyrone Mings to solve defensive woes

Arsenal, 15/8 chances with Coral to finish top of Champions League Group D, are tracking Ipswich Town defender Tyrone Mings, who was playing non-league football just two years ago, according to the weekend tabloids.

Mings, 21, has come into his own at Portman Road, as the Suffolk side lost first-choice left back Aaron Cresswell to West Ham United this past summer. He can also operate in central defence, an area where Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is really short on options.

In the 2-2 Premier League draw with Hull City, Arsenal had to play usual left back Nacho Monreal in the middle and fellow Spaniard Hector Bellerin on the opposite flank. There are just two senior centre halves, Laurent Kosicelny and Per Mertesacker, on the club’s books.

Tractor Boys boss Mick McCarthy wants to try and keep his first-choice defence together, a point no better emphasised than by the recent contract extension signed by club captain Luke Chambers. Mings has contributed to three clean sheets, and made as many assists already this term, so the Gunners have sent chief scout Steve Rowley to run the rule over him.

Previously the subject of a reported £3m bid from Crystal Palace which Ipswich knocked back, Mings is also understood to be interesting Everton and Sunderland. Toffees manager Roberto Martinez will be seeking a long-term successor to Leighton Baines, while Black Cats boss Gus Poyet could be looking to replace the underwhelming Patrick van Aanholt.

No Premier League team’s need for defensive reinforcements in more pressing than Arsenal’s, though, and Mings could follow fellow Southampton academy graduates Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to the Emirates. At 6ft 3in, he would add height to the Gunners’ rearguard.

Released by the Saints when their youth budget was slashed during the dark days of 2008, Mings joined McCarthy’s men for a bargain basement price of £10k in 2013 from Chippenham Town. His senior career began at Yate Town.

In Arsenal’s next outing, they tackle Belgian champions Anderlecht in Brussels, and are odds-on 4/6 favourites to win in the Champions League.