sport news After a tricky start to life at Everton, now Yerry Mina is hitting all the ...

sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more

It is the moment Yerry Mina hurriedly grabs his iPhone, grinning from ear to ear, that it becomes clear we are about to witness a first. 

Premier League footballers can be reticent about opening up during interviews but there are no such worries with Mina. Those who work with Everton's imposing central defender on a daily basis fondly say he is 'full of fun' and that description is about to be confirmed.

'Bueno! Bueno!' says Mina, excitedly. 'Un momento, amigo...' Our conversation has taken an unexpected turn. We have gone from discussing Lionel Messi, his old Barcelona team-mate, to initiation ceremonies. Tradition dictates that Everton signings must sing for their new colleagues but Mina had to miss a bonding meal 14 months ago and never got the chance.

Yerry Mina is now hitting all the right notes following a difficult start to his Everton career

Yerry Mina is now hitting all the right notes following a difficult start to his Everton career

The Colombian feels his early struggles were a test of his character but now he is happy

The Colombian feels his early struggles were a test of his character but now he is happy 

'Singing, honestly, isn't a problem,' he says, with the help of an interpreter. Then he breaks into English: 'I show you.'

The curious silence in the room, as Mina taps away, is suddenly broken by the first bars of an old rock classic. As the Colombian starts clicking his fingers and bopping his head, it emerges that Creedence Clearwater Revival, the American rock band of the late 1960s and 1970s, are helping him learn English.

'Someone told me long ago...' Mina starts, concentrating on the lyrics popping on to his screen. 'There is calm before the storm... I KNOW! It's been coming for some time! Woo! I know! Have you ever seen the rain!'

Earlier that morning, it transpires the Finch Farm dressing room had received an impromptu rendition of the same song. Mina thinks he had listened to it 'eight or 10 times' on the drive to work and Fabian Delph was so impressed that he wanted to film him. He relays all this with a beaming smile.

There is something refreshing about being in Mina's company. Everton's start to the season has been horribly inconsistent and they head into this week's tussle with Tottenham peering anxiously over their shoulders. This expensive project is proving to be less than the sum of its parts.

The gravity of the situation is not lost on the 25-year-old. He takes the responsibility of changing Everton's fortunes seriously and speaks with fondness for El Professor — Marco Silva — the manager who brought him to Merseyside in August 2018 but whose future remains in peril.

He is using music to help improve his English and is a character in the Everton dressing room

He is using music to help improve his English and is a character in the Everton dressing room

Mina got the attention of clubs in England while he was playing at the back for Barcelona

Mina got the attention of clubs in England while he was playing at the back for Barcelona

The situation is not completely bleak, though, and fortunes can soon change in football. Mina knew genuine adversity as a child growing up in Guachene, a town in western Colombia that he says was 'tough and hard to get out of' — overcoming the odds has been a theme of his life.

'We have a saying in Colombia: you leave your skin on the field — leave nothing out there,' he says. 'I prefer to look at the future step by step. I try to improve myself all the time. I look at myself, I see the errors that I make and I want to get better and eradicate them from my game.

'In a moment

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV sport news Jamaica Women international Tarania Clarke dies after being stabbed over a ...
NEXT sport news Tahith Chong the next Manchester United starlet on Juventus' list with ...