Mason Mount (to the left) and Casemiro (to the right) could potentially team up at Manchester United in the following season.
Manager Erik ten Hag of Manchester United has roped in Mason Mount in an effort to further energize his squad following a promising first season at the helm.
Mount, 24, has been a crucial asset to Chelsea since he ascended to their premier team in 2019-20. The big question now is how and where he will fit into the dynamics of Old Trafford?
‘Talented player, and an equally exceptional person’
Manchester United’s decision to secure Mount is completely justifiable.
Mount is an assiduous, smart, and creative midfielder who is just entering his prime, and he brings with him a vast amount of experience from the Premier League and the international circuit. The more you delve into his career, the more his selection seems apt.
Since his inaugural game for Chelsea in 2019, post successful loan periods with Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands and Derby in the Championship, Mount has participated in 195 matches for the club and netted 33 goals.
Mount, like many others in Chelsea’s squad last season, grappled with injury and form issues. Amid a turbulent season for the Blues, which saw them finish 12th in the Premier League, Mount faced criticism and backlash from certain sections of fans on social media.
However, none can champion his cause more ardently than the man who managed him during his loan period at Derby, introduced him at Chelsea, and coached him during the latter part of the 2022-23 season.
Frank Lampard, in April, stated, “I won’t impose my football opinions on anyone. But if anyone doubts Mason Mount’s calibre as a top-tier player, I wonder what game they’re watching,”
“He’s universally regarded as a top-class player and individual. You could ask me, or Thomas Tuchel, or Gareth Southgate, or Graham Potter.”
The same sentiment is echoed by England’s coach Southgate, who has awarded Mount 36 caps, including four during the World Cup finals in Qatar.
Southgate lauded Mount as an “extraordinary player”, highlighting his ability to smartly find spaces, handle the ball proficiently, create opportunities and score goals.
Southgate’s England team has profited with five goals from Mount. His highest scoring season for Chelsea was in 2021-22, where he supplied 13 across all formats. That season, he also created the most opportunities out of any Chelsea player – 58 in total.
Mount is expected to be one among several players exiting Chelsea this summer, as the club attempts to alleviate concerns around Financial Fair Play (FFP) following a £600m spend last season.
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Mount’s flexibility in midfield positions is a significant advantage – he can perform in an attacking role as number 10 or from the right or left. He’s even occasionally been used as a false nine for Chelsea.
He could feature as an option in a front three behind a central striker. However, with Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho, Jadon Sancho, Antony and Christian Eriksen already available for that role, and the potential addition of Marcus Rashford if United signs a striker this summer, Erik ten Hag has an abundance of choice.
Ten Hag recognizes Mount’s adaptability but primarily sees him as an attacking midfielder, which sets him as direct competition for Eriksen.
With Marcel Sabitzer returning to Bayern Munich post his loan term and Eriksen in his 30s, United could view Mount as a youthful, more agile alternative for the creative role.
Since his Premier League debut in August 2019, Mount has 22 assists to his credit. Only 26 players have tallied more assists in the English top flight during that timeframe.
Mount, in joining Manchester United, signals the club’s ambition to build on a promising first season under Ten Hag, a season that ended with their first trophy in six years – the Carabao Cup – and a return to the Champions League.
Concerns over Sancho or Antony?
As per Simon Stone of Sport News Center, “The pursuit of Mount is an intriguing move, primarily because it seems Manchester United should have higher priorities in other areas of the pitch, and it’s well-known their summer budget is limited.
Mount does not directly address the centre-forward deficit, which is a clear area of weakness, nor does he supplement the defensive midfield unit.
However, Mount does offer another creative option. Besides his ability to find space in tight areas and vision to dismantle defences, Southgate recognizes Mount’s defensive diligence, a quality that United has struggled with and which Erik ten Hag aims to address.
This could reduce the necessity to rely on Christian Eriksen consistently. Eriksen’s performance post his injury last season was inconsistent across games.
Regardless, if Ten Hag continues to deploy three attacking players behind a central striker, and if Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes are considered automatic choices, it does bring into question the roles of Jadon Sancho and Antony, who collectively cost United over £150m.”
This piece was first published on 23 June 2023.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Mason Mount’s transfer to Manchester United
Who is Mason Mount?
Mason Mount is an industrious, intelligent, creative English midfielder who has been playing for Chelsea since 2019-20 and has gained significant Premier League and international experience.
How much is Mason Mount’s transfer to Manchester United worth?
Manchester United have agreed on a deal worth £55m, plus £5m in add-ons, to sign Mason Mount from Chelsea.
What position does Mason Mount typically play?
Mason Mount is a versatile midfielder, capable of operating in an attacking role at number 10, or in from the right or left. He has even occasionally operated as a false nine for Chelsea.
What has been Mason Mount’s performance so far?
Since making his Premier League debut in August 2019, Mount has 22 assists to his name. He also had his highest scoring season for Chelsea in 2021-22, where he supplied 13 goals across all competitions.
How does Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, plan to use Mount in the team?
While acknowledging Mount’s adaptability, Ten Hag primarily sees him as an attacking midfielder. With Christian Eriksen ageing, United could view Mount as a youthful, more agile alternative for the creative role.
What were some of Mount’s significant achievements with Chelsea?
Mason Mount helped Chelsea win the Champions League in 2021, starting in the final against Manchester City. He also has Fifa Club World Cup and Uefa Super Cup medals in his collection.
How has England’s coach, Gareth Southgate, assessed Mount’s skills?
Gareth Southgate has praised Mount as an “extraordinary player” who finds space intelligently, manipulates the ball very well, creates chances, and scores goals. Under Southgate, England has benefited from five goals from Mount.