There has been much debate on how Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be incorporated into the same team, or rather if they can be. Ruben’s quality last year is clear, in his contributions under Sarri in the number 8 role of a three-man midfield. He added a spark and dynamism to Chelsea’s midfield, taking away a predictable and lacklustre look.
Since his unfortunate injury in the US towards the back end of last season, there’s been a new kid on the block in the form of Mason Mount. A very different player to Ruben and certainly not on Ruben’s level yet, however a player Lampard trusts and a player that has brought three important underrated assets to the Chelsea team. Goals, set pieces, and energy. With what Lampard is trying to implement, both players could be crucial to elevating the game plan to a higher level. Mount is renowned for his high-intensity pressing and dead ball ability, an area of severe weakness last season in the goalscoring aspect as well as the defensive aspect. Ruben’s ability to break lines of press with his quick turn of pace accompanied by strength and skill offers something different to Mount.
So, what’s the debate? Well, there’s still a misconception on how Frank is using Mason in comparison to last year at Derby. Mount’s position has been further up the field, in fact, his average position against Wolves being higher than any other player. Whether that’s on the left-wing or in the number 10 role, he’s been asked to play far higher than you would have seen Ruben last year under Sarri. I’ve even gone as far as to call him our second striker in a similar form to Thomas Muller and Dele Ali. Highlighting that they are completely different players and not necessarily competing for the same position. Mason thus far has been in-between the lines whilst pressing, almost as an inside forward or wide number 10, whichever you prefer. Although he’ll need to improve on his ability to open up teams with passing and combination play, his energy to give the opposition little time when they have the ball, is forcing errors for himself and others to capitalise on. Which in turn is, funnily enough, creating chances, just the stats won’t tell you he is.
It’s a widely shared opinion that Chelsea’s strongest formation is a 4-3-3 and their strongest midfield is Ruben, Jorginho and Kante when all fully fit. So where does Mount fit in? Well with Chelsea in four competitions rotation is a must, so even players outside the 11 will still see sufficient game time if they continue to prove themselves. However, there is certainly a spot for Mount alongside Ruben and the return of CHO. With Pulisic not yet in top form and still adjusting to life in England, there’s no reason not to think Mount will be used as an inside forward in a 4-3-3 with CHO on the opposite flank. Mount provides better pressing than Pulisic and is more likely to offer close support to Tammy Abraham, in the form of retrieving knockdowns and playing off his build-up play. Both players have linked up very well so far this season and it’s evident there is a bond and connection from their youth team days.
With Reece James and Emerson to soon return to full fitness, there’s little need to worry about the lack of width Mount will offer as an overlap via a fullback will be an option no matter what side he plays. What Mount does, can be used on either the right or left and with Callum Hudson Odoi being comfortable on both sides also, as we saw last season with his crossing ability, will be of huge benefit to Tammy. Don’t be surprised to see Mount and CHO interchange during games. With Ruben Loftus-Cheek coming back in a position that’s very much up for grabs, the LCM in a 4-3-3. It’s looking like Chelsea’s attack will be lead by 4 academy graduates that all possess different attributes and qualities. It won’t always be the way with Pulisic providing quality competition to the quadruple, but given the trust, Lampard has in Mount to follow his instructions and the clear quality the returning duo of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will bring. Don’t be surprised to see it.
Exciting times for our made in Chelsea front 4.