Tyrick Mitchell is set to complete his stunning rise to the top by being called up into the senior England squad for the first time.
The Crystal Palace star is set to be announced as Gareth Southgate’s replacement for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The 22-year-old was already name checked by the England boss last week as being firmly on his radar following an impressive season.
And now he is set to join Palace teammates Marc Guehi and Conor Gallagher in the squad less than two years after his first Premier League start.
That came during a 2-0 defeat to Wolves in July 2020 and the experience for Mitchell himself was a chastening one.
Tyrick Mitchell Premier League stats
Clean sheets: 8
Duels won: 139
Errors leading to goal: 0
Yellow cards: 0
Red cards: 0
He told the club’s website: “Actually starting against Wolves was a massive eye opener.
“In the Under-23s I would say not a lot of people can get past me. That was one thing I prided myself on.
“When I came up against [Adama] Traore, he was getting the better of me each time. It was humbling.
“That was one situation that taught me that I was still nowhere near my defending in the Premier League.”
It’s a mark of Mitchell’s progress that under Patrick Vieira he now leads the Premier League for defensive third tackles, according to the stats.
But such a turnaround wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who knew him considering the challenges he already faced in making it as a professional.
Growing up in Harrow, Mitchell’s dad was in and out of prison, leaving his mother to survive on benefits to support him and his two older sisters.
He told the Standard: “That whole scenario built me into a man so much quicker.
“Sometimes when you have two parents, or when you are given everything you want, you are kind of shielded from the real world.
“Now when I enter the real world, and you don’t get everything you want or you have to work even harder, I am able to do that with ease. It is no problem.
“It hasn’t been the easiest of routes, but that’s what makes everything more special and humbling to me.”
Mitchell had trials with Watford as a youngster after being spotted playing for his local club, Pinner Albion, but his inconsistent attendance became an issue.
But he was taken under the wing by AFC Wembley coach Abdi Farah, who is now his agent, which led to signing a scholarship with Brentford.
On his debut for the club’s Under-18s, Mitchell was red carded with his side beating Sheffield United 2-0 and needing a win to secure the title.
The then-15-year-old’s misery was compounded by ten-man Brentford ultimately losing 3-2 and seeing their championship hopes evaporate.
His coach Jon de Souza told the Athletic: “I was delighted. What better way is there to learn than on your under-18 debut (than by) costing the team the league? It was terrific for his long-term development.”
Mitchell’s development continued at Palace after Brentford controversially closed their academy back in 2016.
But the Bees’ loss has been the Eagles’ gain as Mitchell is yet to look back after arriving at Selhurst Park two days after they lost the FA Cup final that year.
He is now a part of a Palace team that has been flooding the England set up recently alongside the likes of Guehi, Gallagher and Eberechi Eze.
Henry Winter told talkSPORT breakfast: “That academy they’ve got there…they’ve just expanded it and that is such a hotbed of English football all around that area, south London.
“When you think of the traditional hotbeds of the game, the north East and north West but south London is phenomenal.
“Those little cages that they put in there, obviously because it’s a heavily built up area, the hunger of the people there.”
Mitchell similarly lauded the Eagles new facilities recently, saying: “I won’t be surprised if the whole of south London end up playing for Palace.”
On recent evidence, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the whole of Palace’s England contingent end up playing for their country as well…
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