It's not West Brom, Birmingham or Charlton after all - Ex-Portsmouth midfielder instead joins League Two strugglers

Ex-Pompey midfielder Jay Mingi has signed for Colchester United. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages
Ex-Pompey midfielder Jay Mingi has signed for Colchester United. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

The 22-year-old has signed a two-year deal with Colchester United, ending his hunt for a new home.

As a consequence, Pompey received an unspecified compensation settlement from the League Two club.

It ends a long-running saga centring on Mingi’s refusal to sign a three-year Pompey contract – and culminating in his Fratton Park departure this summer.

Certainly the eventual destination for a player once linked with West Brom, Blackburn, Charlton and Birmingham must represent something of a surprise for the midfielder.

Indeed, Mingi enjoyed some bright moments after breaking into Danny Cowley’s first-team last season, making 26 appearances and scoring once.

However, having been injured upon John Mousinho’s arrival in January, the former Charlton man failed to impress in training and couldn’t break into his squad.

Regardless, a three-year deal offered in December 2022 remained on the table, thereby entitling Pompey to compensation should the midfielder go elsewhere.

Now the situation has been resolved, with Mingi linking up with a club currently 22nd in League Two following a poor start to the campaign.

A statement on Colchester’s official website said: ‘Colchester United have snapped up Jay Mingi.

‘The twenty two year old has signed a two year contract at the JCS, (subject to the usual approvals), securing him to the U's until the summer of 2025.

‘After progressing through the West Ham Academy, Mingi signed a professional contract at Charlton Athletic in 2019.

‘He made a couple of appearances in his short spell at The Valley, before signing for Portsmouth a year later.

‘It took Jay a bit of time to gain regular football at Fratton Park, but he broke into the Pompey squad at the beginning of last season and went on to make twenty six appearances.

‘Contract talks broke down this summer, and the midfielder has secured a deal here in North Essex.’

Mingi arrived at Pompey in the summer of 2021 having left Charlton, signing a 12-month deal with an option in September 2021.

Having previously started his career at West Ham, at Pompey he demonstrated ability as a midfielder capable of driving runs with the ball at his feet.

That prompted the Blues to offer a three-year deal to retain his services before life at Fratton Park turned sour and he opted to move elsewhere.