Mount Gives Lampard a New Chelsea Midfield Option
Last night’s England 3-0 win over Ireland is unlikely to live too long in the memory. However, for Chelsea coach, Frank Lampard, there was a clear look at yet another side to Mason Mount’s game.
Mason Mount was deployed in a deeper midfield role by Gareth Southgate and performed very well. The game also placed an end to an unfounded theory that Mount and Grealish can co-exist on the pitch at the same time. And, it was interesting to hear the Grealish speak so effusively about his team-mate at the whistle blow.
“I love Mason,” Grealish said.
“It’s a bit annoying because he gets a bit of stick at times. I’ve always been close with Mase. He’s an absolutely terrific player and I don’t think we’re really even fighting for the same spot if I’m honest.
“If anything, Mason is underrated. He deserves all the credit he gets and people that know about football will understand just how good he is.”
And yet the jury remains out on what his best position is. At Chelsea, it looks like a No8 role in a 4-3-3 but he has featured on both wings under Lampard this season and now in a deeper role as part of Southgate’s 3-4-2-1.
What stood out most at Wembley was the simplicity and efficiency of Mount’s game. As the below examples show, he dropped deep regularly to provide an outlet for defenders in possession.
But there were also moments where he received possession and quickly set team-mates away, such as this pass into space for Bukayo Saka to run on to after intercepting a loose Ireland pass.
So how would that look in a Chelsea team?
Lampard has been clear that the balance offered from the switch to 4-3-3 has been key to recent performances but it would be fascinating to see how Mount fared in a 4-2-3-1 alongside N’Golo Kante.
Certainly, Mount would offer more of a creative presence than Jorginho in that role, although Lampard may be reluctant to lose his ability to press opposition defenders consistently.
Lampard has spoken generally about liking players who can perform in a number of roles but Mount’s versatility is on another level.
As for the player himself, his preference is a No8 but there is a clear willingness to play wherever he is needed.
“I’m a No8, a midfielder. I always have been,” Mount told Chelsea TV after the recent win away to Burnley. “It’s natural for me to play in there. I know I’ve started a bit wider this season but I loved playing in midfield, it’s my position.”
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