Jonathan Dinzeyi comes to Carlisle United having learned from some illustrious players at both ends of the North London divide.

The centre-half, who is hoping to further his first-team career at Brunton Park, is in the rare position of having had the benefit of advice from top defenders at both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

Dinzeyi was on Spurs’ youth books before joining the Gunners last summer. His development has put him in the orbit of stars at both clubs.

“When you’re young and you’re going out to train with the first team, which I did at Spurs and which I’ve done with Arsenal, the players are all so welcoming,” Dinzeyi says.

“They speak to you in a great way, and I like to speak more to players in my position. At Spurs that was Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, and I’d always be asking them questions. With Arsenal I go to David Luiz or Rob Holding and I ask them about all sorts.

“Overall you just learn so much from these players, so much.”

News and Star: Dinzeyi says he learned lots from defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderwireld at Spurs (photo: PA)Dinzeyi says he learned lots from defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderwireld at Spurs (photo: PA)

Dinzeyi now hopes to learn more about the reality of senior football in League Two. He joined the Blues on a season-long loan with a few minutes of transfer deadline day remaining.

It was, he admits, a whirlwind time. “Ooh, it was literally crazy,” he laughs. “I had minimal time. I got a text from my agent and he told me that he’d been on the phone to Carlisle, and that they wanted me.

“I was like, ‘Wow’, but I was really happy. I spoke to the gaffer [Chris Beech] before coming up here, and I spoke to Gavin [Skelton] as well, and they said some good things. I was really excited because I knew I wanted to be here.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all, but as soon as I heard about it I was delighted, really happy. I got in here on the Thursday. The journey was so long! I did have a look on the map when I was told Carlisle were interested and I couldn’t have got much further away!

“I was working out the journey time if I drove or got the train, so I got the train in the end and it was a nice journey actually. It took about 3 hours and 50 minutes. I met up with one of the staff and they took me to where I was staying.”

Dinzeyi is settling in at Brunton Park and hoping to push his way into Beech’s squad. At 21 he offers youthful cover for Carlisle’s more established current centre-halves of Rod McDonald, Corey Whelan and Morgan Feeney, but he has impressed Beech in his early training sessions.

He also comes across as a bright young character eager to make his way in the game. “This is a very good club and I’m obviously speaking to the gaffer all the time,” Dinzeyi says. “He had a big influence [on the move] in terms of the way he was speaking to me.

“The players he’s worked with in my position have kick-started and had good careers and I’m really looking forward to working with him. We have a good connection already and it’s good the way he speaks to me in training. It’s the same with Gav and the other members of staff. They’ve really helped me to settle in. The lads are great so it’s all been really good.”

Dinzeyi spent his youth career with Tottenham’s academy and remained with them until last summer.

“I’ve had my highs and my lows, and looking back I’d say that everything I’ve been through has made me mentally a lot stronger,” he says.

“Tottenham didn’t offer me a new deal, then Arsenal gave me an opportunity, so it’s been different emotions – but overall really good.

“There have been top coaches at both clubs that have helped me to develop and they’ve kept me going through thick and thin.

“I have a lot of thanks to give to both Arsenal and Spurs. It’s been a good journey and having a good support system around me as well when times haven’t been going my way, when I haven’t been playing or when I’ve been dropped…all of that is important.”

Dinzeyi has also played England Under-18 football alongside one of his new United team-mates: the former Sunderland and Everton defender Feeney.

News and Star: Dinzeyi played at England youth level alongside new Blues team-mate Morgan Feeney (photo: Barbara Abbott)Dinzeyi played at England youth level alongside new Blues team-mate Morgan Feeney (photo: Barbara Abbott)

“He helped me when I went to my first proper international call-up,” Dinzeyi says. “He talked to me through the games and in training as well, and knowing he was here [at Carlisle] meant I knew I had someone I could go to if things get tough for me.

“He can encourage me and help me to develop as well, so it’s good to see him again.”

Dinzeyi is in north Cumbria now as opposed to north London, some distance from home – but a move he was happy to make to add substance to his young career.

“It’s tough, because I’ve been used to being around my family all the time, but I think sometimes in your career you have to take steps like this where you have to grow up and become a man,” he says.

“It gives me a good chance to learn more about myself and new things off the rest of the lads here, which I’ve already been doing.

“The lads have all been really good with me and have guided me through everything. Training has been good and I’m working hard, so that helps take your mind off any homesickness or anything like that.

“Overall it’s been fine, I haven’t really thought about wanting to go home or anything like that because everyone here has made me so welcome. Everyone is so kind and friendly, I feel like I’ve been here for so long, that’s how comfortable I’ve been made to feel. All I’m doing is focusing on training and becoming a better player.”

What are Dinzeyi’s best traits as a player? “I’d say heading, and I’m good on the ball,” he says. “I like to block shots and one against one defending. Those are my key attributes, I would say.”

If he is involved in the squad this weekend Dinzeyi will swiftly be heading back south, since Carlisle are taking on Crawley. It’s likely he will have to be patient for his first opportunity, but the young defender says he’s eager and ready.

“In every training session I’m fighting to stake my claim and put the gaffer in a position where he has to play me because I’m doing well,” he says. “If I train well I know I’ll be closer to getting into the team.

“I know I’ve got to be patient because the lads are doing great and winning games at the moment. I know it might be tough for me individually, but I’ll keep encouraging the boys to win more games.

“It’s been a wicked experience so far and I just can’t wait to get an opportunity, and once I get that chance I’ll make sure I’m ready to take it. Whatever happens, I’ll always be positive and thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given here.

“I’m developing different sorts of experiences which will only be good for me and my career.”