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In Focus: Magnificent Mullin can provide more FA Cup magic
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Mitchell Fretton
Paul Mullin could be Wrexham's hero against Sheffield United
Paul Mullin could be Wrexham's hero against Sheffield United

Paul Mullin is the prized possession of a Wrexham side looking to win promotion to the Football League in a hurry.

The former Liverpool and Everton prospect came within minutes of securing a famous upset in the FA Cup fourth round nine days ago, before Championship side Sheffield United's stoppage-time equaliser.

Tonight, the two sides meet again in a replay with a tie against Premier League giants Tottenham on the horizon for the winners.

A tight affair in Wales was overseen by Wrexham co-owner and Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds, who could not hide his emotions throughout the contest.

The Canada-born actor invested in the Red Dragons alongside fellow performer Rob McElhenney and the pair have gone on to amplify the club's reach across the globe — even releasing a documentary series showcasing their story.

Ahead of this evening's clash at Bramall Lane, we take a deep dive into the success of star striker Mullin.

Taking the plunge

Mullin, 28, has played at several EFL clubs during his career but decided to drop down a level to try and lead Wrexham's promotion push.

Since arriving in 2021, the former Cambridge striker has scored 55 goals in 71 appearances and has 20 strikes in the National League so far this season.

His dynamic movement and aerial threat make him a handful for defenders, while his presence in the final third is a key contributor for Wrexham scoring in all but four of their league fixtures this term.

The quality on display suggests his talents should be utilised at a higher level but his willingness to stick with the Welsh side despite their failure to gain promotion last season is a credit to his character.

And while it is true the club's owners have pumped a significant amount of money into the transfer budget, the fact remains the English fifth tier is one of the most difficult to gain promotion from.

With only one spot available to automatically elevate a club into League Two, Mullin will have to continue his excellent form to keep Wrexham — who currently sit second in the table behind Notts County — in contention for top spot.

Paul Mullin has scored seven FA Cup goals this season
Paul Mullin has scored seven FA Cup goals this season

No letting up

The prolific marksman is putting up some impressive numbers during his spell in Wales.

Mullin is averaging 0.75 goals per 90 minutes in a red shirt this season, edging his 0.72 average from 2021-22 when he scored 26 times.

Some of his trademark finishes have come in important situations with the game on a knife edge, with the No10 frequently finding himself in the right position to convert a precious winner or equaliser.

He is capable of running at defenders but most of his goals come in the penalty box after latching on to a cross.

This was evident in the first meeting with the Blades. Mullin popped up to slot home his seventh FA Cup goal of the season and give Wrexham a 3-2 lead with only four minutes of normal time remaining.

If Wrexham are to send the away end into raptures tonight, the lethal finisher is going to have to get on the scoresheet in South Yorkshire.

Paul Mullin has scored 20 league goals this season
Paul Mullin has scored 20 league goals this season

Wales are watching

Wrexham's time in the spotlight has given Wales fans the opportunity to watch the stocky goalscorer, who has previously declared his desire to play for the Dragons despite being born in Liverpool.

He is registered and elible to play for Cymru and the recent retirement of Gareth Bale may soon present a perfect opportunity to showcase his talents on the international stage.

Asked about representing Wales, Mullins said: "I'd love to play for Wales and represent the people here [Wrexham] more than anywhere because they are the people who get to watch me every week.

"But that's not something I'm thinking about, that's not something I'm expecting, but if it was to happen then I'd obviously be over the moon with it."

A recent poll suggested the followers of Rob Page's men would be in favour of Mullin linking up with the squad in the next international break.

Many will have their concerns at the level of football the ex-Morecambe poacher is playing at but his CV indicates he can handle himself at a higher standard.

But it is worth noting he would still have a hard time displacing the likes of Premier League stars Kieffer Moore and Brennan Johnson.

It may be the case that Mullin will get his chance if Wrexham can complete their promotion push.

In 2020-21, the striker scored 32 goals during his spell with Cambridge to win the League Two Golden Boot award. 

His ability is clear but he still has much to prove if he is to take his game to the next level.

Path to glory

Mullin is in contention to become the FA Cup's top scorer this term and is confident his side can find success in the league.

Speaking ahead of tonight's tie, he said: "The main objective of the season has always been promotion and obviously having a good FA Cup run is an added bonus.

"We've got a real belief going into any game that we can go and win it. I think that's been instilled from the gaffer from day one and we also never give up.

"We've worked really hard to get ourselves in a good position and we will continue to work hard to take it forward."

Only time will tell as to the heights Mullin can scale if he can inspire Wrexham to a famous triumph this evening.


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