29 Premier League games played out of a possible 29. 6 goals. 4 assists. Numerous positions. The debut season of Mason Mount has been one of great debate among fans, yet he’s been continually picked ahead of the competition by both Frank Lampard and Gareth Southgate. At 21 years of age, Mount has been trusted to be a key member of the Chelsea squad. He’s been called up ahead of the likes of Grealish and Maddison, who seem to be the most obvious comparisons for his position.
Throughout the season, Chelsea’s young midfielder has been a source of energy and enthusiasm, wherever he’s played on the pitch. He started the campaign out wide at Old Trafford, played numerous games as a #10, was an inverted forward behind the striker and was a #8. Mount has played all over the place, yet has been slammed by some fans for the inevitable inconsistencies in some of his performances. These are inconsistencies that were bound to occur anyway, as he made the leap from Championship football to the heights of the Premier League. To then heavily criticise him for this, while there has been no constant in the position he plays game to game, is extremely naive. In reality, it’s been an encouraging start to his Chelsea career, once you take a deeper look at the context.
One of Mount’s best attributes is of course his energy and determination in midfield. It’s a trait that Frank Lampard holds in high regard, having been known for that in his playing days. It comes as no surprise then that the style of play of our manager lends itself to hard working midfielders, and Mount is nearly as good as they come. His relentless pressing has been an essential part of the Chelsea midfield, especially with N’Golo Kante’s continuous injuries keeping him out of the side. We saw Mount’s relentlessness in the first game at Stamford Bridge against Leicester, where his energy was hugely beneficial in pressing Ndidi, winning the ball and finishing past Kasper Schmeichel.
In Mason Mount, Chelsea have a young and hungry player who fits the manager’s style and crucially is always available. The ability to stay fit really is an important trait, and it means that he’ll have the opportunities to get better and better and cement his place in the club’s future.
The Fans’ Opinions
Prior to writing this article, I asked for some feedback on Mount’s debut season to gage general opinions of him. The following replies summarise the majority of the points made:
Moment of the Season
Mount has had a number of memorable moments this season, from his first Stamford Bridge goal to debuting for England. However, I’ve gone for his performance against Everton, the last game before lockdown, which I was lucky enough to see live.
What I witnessed was a complete performance from the Englishman, who was playing slightly deeper in the #8 position, where I believe he’s excels most. He looked like a seasoned professional in that game, pinging cross-field passes, making late runs into the box and crucially ending his goal drought. The confidence he showed on the ball was particularly impressive and it was indicative of the kind of performances we can come to expect as he progresses. If he is able to cement a position in the team as a #8, I think we can all start to get excited about the levels he could reach.
Areas to Improve
When we’re talking about young players, it’s important not to be too hard on them as a lot of improvement will come with experience. However, one area of Mount’s game that has always been brought up in discussions, which I have to mention, is his lack of creativity, especially in regards to playing as a #10. There have been games where he’s been caught on the ball or not played the right pass, which has really been the main complaint about him, and it’s a valid concern.
We’ve seen in his time at Vitesse and Derby that his passing range and vision is actually very good, so perhaps the reason for the slight drop in quality in that regard, is simply due to the drastic rise in quality of the teams he’s playing. With additional experience in the league, he has every chance of improving his passing and vision, and we started to see that come to fruition in the performances against Spurs and Everton at Stamford Bridge, which came toward the end of the season.
If he can work on that part of his game, so that it’s at the quality to have a real consistent impact in the Premier League, then we have ourselves a very exciting player.
The future of Mason Mount is a bright one, and under the leadership of Frank Lampard and Jody Morris, I have every belief that he’ll continue to improve and iron out the errors and inconsistencies in his performances. There are many more Everton type games to come.
Edited by: Dan