Mason Mount is proving his quality again for Chelsea under Graham Potter
I always do chuckle when I speak to fans who do not support Chelsea, even some bitter rivals of the Blues, who consistently express confusion over why there is any questioning over the talent of Mason Mount.
They cannot understand it, even if they prefer seeing both Mount and Chelsea fail, they are humble enough to admit a good player when they see one. By all accounts, Mount’s story was a fantasy one at Stamford Bridge only five years ago.
The thought of an academy talent breaking out of the loan cycle and not only becoming a squad player, but a fully-fledged first-teamer would have gotten you some strange looks even from those who frequent Stamford Bridge on a regular basis. It was not that people did not want it to happen, they just could not see it transpiring.
Mount has now reached 139 games for the club since his breakthrough under Frank Lampard in 2019. And for a neat parallel, Mount now has one more goal for Chelsea as Lampard did in the same number of appearances (32). Ironically his last two came at the ground where Lampard famously became the club’s highest-ever goalscorer in 2013.
It is unlikely Mount reaches that feat given Lampard’s iconic status, but what that stat should make people reflect on is how brilliant the academy graduate has been since making the jump to senior football. The demands placed upon him, the sheer number of minutes played for club and country, and more tellingly, how crucial he has become for the three coaches he has played under in SW6.
“He works so hard for the team alway,” Graham Potter said on Mount’s match-winning performance this past Sunday. “He’s got the quality, got the ability to score and assist. Sometimes players go through little dips if the team isn’t functioning that well and maybe the team didn’t function as well as it maybe can and as a result individuals don’t play to the level but the effort has always been there from my perspective and once he can get in the spaces we want to get into he has got the quality to execute and you saw that today.”
In a period when fans have bemoaned the lack of consistency that was once present in the title-winning teams of the past, Mount has stood out as one of the more reliable performers whilst also being still a relatively young player finding his feet. His England peer Phil Foden has also made a meteoric rise at Manchester City, but he has benefitted from playing in a squad that has dominated the Premier League with several outstanding players taking up the burden of pushing the team forward.
Mason Mount scored his first and second goals of the season for Chelsea against Aston Villa on Sunday
Mason Mount scored his first and second goals of the season for Chelsea against Aston Villa on Sunday (Image: Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Whilst in comparison, Mount has stood out amongst a number of high-profile and expensive names who are older than him and have failed to offer the required output. You also factor in the upheaval of coaching changes in that short spell too, keeping his confidence and place in the team also requires respect.
Mount is not a flawless player and he has endured poor runs, even he would likely admit that. But if a player who cost the club £60+ million had offered even comparable numbers and consistency to Mount, there likely would be wide praise from the people who so regularly criticise him.
Starting all of the games under Potter so far is not a remote surprise to anyone who has watched Chelsea in the past three years, because the exact same thing happened following the sacking of Lampard and the arrival of Thomas Tuchel.