Mason Mount has firmly established himself as one of Chelsea‘s most influential attacking players. The 22-year-old was often the first name on the team sheet under former Blues boss Frank Lampard, and has successfully managed to carry his form into the Thomas Tuchel era.
Mount was benched for the German’s first game in charge against Wolves in January, but has featured heavily for Chelsea since making an eight-minute cameo in that goalless draw, starting nine games and scoring three highly-important goals in the process.
He found the net against Sheffield United in February to help the Blues secure a narrow 2-1 victory, and popped up again to snatch a draw at Southampton before scoring the only goal of the game against Liverpool earlier this month.
Looking ahead, Mount will have his sights set on playing a starring role for England at Euro 2020 this summer, with Gareth Southgate also a huge fan of the versatile playmaker.
His contributions for Chelsea this season have consolidated his place among Europe’s finest young talents, an outcome that was predicted by none other than Barcelona great Lionel Messi a year ago.
The mercurial Argentine was asked to come up with a list of 15 players that can become world beaters in the near future, with Mount included alongside the likes of Jadon Sancho, Kylian Mbappe and Joao Felix.
Explaining the decision to provide his backing to the Chelsea star, Messi said: “Having watched him play he has the potential to be one of the best.”
Many onlookers predicted that Mount would struggle upon Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, with the former Paris-Saint Germain boss appointed in order to focus on extracting the very best from Chelsea’s big-money signings.
However, the Blues academy product has since done more than enough to warrant a regular spot in the side, with his influential performances helping to steer the club back into contention for a top-four finish.
Tuchel claimed at the beginning of February that there are no restrictions on Mount’s potential, echoing Messi’s claims by suggesting that he can develop into a world-class player.
“I absolutely agree with the potential that I see, which you mention, with Mason,” the Chelsea boss told reporters ahead of his side’s victory over Tottenham.
“What I see from outside and what I know now from the inside is that the guy is 100 per cent all the time, even more that he cares a lot about Chelsea. He cares about his team-mates and leaves his heart out there on the pitch.
“If you train with Mason or play with Mason, the one thing you can be sure of is that absolutely he gives 100 per cent. This is the best level to grow from, the best situation to become a top, top, top player.
“He has everything that is needed to reach higher and higher levels. I don’t know where his limits are but right now we will push him and support him. The most important thing is that it comes from inside of him.
“What makes me very happy is he’s a nice guy, a totally open guy and has a very positive aura and energy in the dressing room and out on the pitch.”
Mount has made 91 senior appearances for Chelsea since breaking through the club’s academy system, scoring 14 goals and providing another 12 assists.
A loan spell with Vitesse Arnhem for the 2017/18 campaign helped to cut his teeth in the senior game, before he flourished at Derby County under Lampard the following season.
Mount came agonisingly close to helping the Rams seal a long-awaited return to the Premier League, but the Midlands club were ultimately defeated by Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final.