Arsenal defender Mark McGuinness has been plying his trade away from the Emirates Stadium on loan and is doing pretty well for himself and for his team.
The 19-year-old centre-back joined the Gunners aged ten and has progressed through the ranks at Hale End, signing his first professional contract in April 2019.
McGuinness has been a regular in Arsenal’s youth sides, featuring prominently in the Under-18s and making his debut for the Under-23s last season.
This term, the Irishman scored in the pre-season friendly win over MK Dons and shone in the Arsenal U21s’ EFL Trophy win over Ipswich, the club he subsequently joined on loan.
To date, McGuinness has made 11 appearances for the League One side, including nine league starts, and completed another 90 minutes in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Burton Albion.
The East Anglian Daily Times gave him a 6 out of 10 for his performance and sang his praises.
“We saw a good snapshot of the young Irishman in this game, as he committed to every ball and won plenty of challenges in the air and on the ground,” wrote the outlet.
“He had some ‘samba moments’ too as he showed some great footwork to move out with the ball.
“It was by no means perfect, with a few rough edges needing ironing out and a tendency to overcommit sometimes, but there was enough to show just why he’s so highly regarded at Arsenal.”
McGuinness is an incredibly talented young defender who has already earned comparisons with Tony Adams and Per Mertesacker by Arsenal fans who have kept tabs on his displays.
While it’s not been plain sailing at Ipswich so far – he hasn’t impressed in every game – that’s to be expected for an up-and-coming youngster playing regular senior football for the first time.
The important thing is how he develops, and if he can return to the Emirates Stadium with a promotion under his belt – Ipswich are two points off top spot – then all the better.