Chelsea’s Mason Mount is the engine who can do anything for the club

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Mason Mount of Chelsea looks on during the FA Cup Semi Final match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on July 19, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alastair Grant/Pool via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Mason Mount of Chelsea looks on during the FA Cup Semi Final match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on July 19, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alastair Grant/Pool via Getty Images) /

Although many are quick to criticize Mason Mount, he’s become one of Chelsea’s most important and versatile players since breaking into the first team.

In his very first season at Stamford Bridge, Mason Mount had already established himself as a mainstay in Chelsea’s starting line-up. This was partly due to the transfer ban, but when Kai Havertz arrived for a hefty fee in the summer, fans were convinced that Mount would play a more peripheral role off the bench. There were even false stories breaking out in Germany about how Mount was unhappy about the German’s arrival.

If there is one thing that Mount is used to, it is being underestimated. His father, Tony, often recalls having his reservations about whether Mount would get an opportunity at Chelsea. After all, no academy player had broken into the first team since John Terry way back in 1998. When Mount’s father expressed his concern over his son’s future at the club, the young teenager was adamant he would be the next academy star to become a first team regular. Fast forward and a decade later, Mount is now the youngest academy graduate since the Captain, Leader, Legend to reach 50 Premier League starts for Chelsea. Not even the arrival of Havertz has slowed down his progress. In fact, the added competition for places has elevated his performances, if anything. Mount has the dedication, work ethic, technical ability and fitness to be a complete midfielder.

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The 21-year old’s performances last season were extremely promising but lacked consistency at times. This is partly down to the fact that he did not have a defined position in the team. He was constantly being shifted around the midfield and sometimes even played on the wing, which brought upon heavy criticism. However, this season, he has cemented his position as the left sided No. 8 in Chelsea’s 4-3-3 system. In this position, Mount has the opportunity to display the all-round abilities which make him one of the most promising young midfielders in world football.

This article will provide a statistical analysis* of Mount’s Premier League season thus far, comparing his numbers to the best players in the league. While doing so, it is important to factor in that Mount is still only 21-years old and will improve with more experience. Therefore, to put things in context, the analysis will also compare Mount to all under-23 players in the league.

*-All statistics come from and were gathered before the Man City clash.


A common criticism of Mount’s performances last season was that he was not effective in the final third. This season, however, Mount has been integral in building Chelsea’s attack from midfield, especially in the absence of Hakim Ziyech. Only Timo Werner (four) has more assists than Mount’s three. Mount’s assists from an Expected Assist (xA) total of 2.5 are the joint highest among Premier League players under the age of 23, equalling Wolves’ Pedro Neto.

This season, Blues manager Frank Lampard has encouraged Mount to shoot more. This is evidenced by the fact that only Werner (39) has taken more shots than him (31) thus far. Although he has not scored since that sublime goal against West Brom, Mount’s shooting statistics show that he is making a clear effort to have a greater involvement in scoring goals. He is also getting into dangerous areas, taking more touches in the attacking third than any other Chelsea player (414).

Chance creation

One area in which Mount has exponentially improved is his final pass. The Englishman has made 35 key passes this season, which has only bettered by Jack Grealish, Bruno Fernandes and Kevin De Bruyne. To be up there with those names is an achievement in and of itself, and shows how important he has been to Chelsea this season. Mount also has more goal creating actions (seven) than any other under-23 player in the Premier League.

Chelsea players have not been at their clinical best in front of goal this season. This is evidenced by the fact that Mount has 54 shot creating actions, yet only three assists. In terms of creativity and chance creation, the 21-year-old has taken over this responsibility with tremendous purpose and maturity.


The most impressive part of Mount’s development this season has been his ability to turn defence into attack. He acts as the perfect link between the two. He has made more progressive passes (73) than any of his Blues colleagues, also beating out any midfielder aged 23 and under. He only sits behind Reece James for successful passes into the penalty area (19).

Many will claim that Mount’s chance creation statistics are inflated due to his set-pieces. While true, Mount has established himself as the most efficient set-piece taker in the Premier League this season and deserves enormous credit for that. Mount’s set-pieces have led to 20 shot attempts—the most in the league. After years of having Willian on corner and free-kick duties, supporters should be grateful for Mount’s inch-perfect delivery.

Mount’s awareness in possession is phenomenal. He knows exactly when to turn, when to play the ball back and when to switch the play to the other side. As for the latter, Mount has made 42 successful switches, ranking in the top 10 amongst Premier League players and only behind Kurt Zouma at Chelsea.

Defensive contributions

Impressing in the defensive phase is nearly impossible when N’Golo Kante is your teammate. Yet, Mount is regarded very highly for his defensive awareness and efforts. He matches Kante’s work ethic and desire to win the ball back whenever Chelsea loses it. Other than the anomaly that is Kante, Mount has made more successful tackles than any other Chelsea player (21).

Mount and pressing go hand in hand. I previously mentioned his desire and work ethic to win the ball back, and this is evidenced from his pressing statistics. The pressing machine is once again only behind Kante for number of pressures (278 compared to 315). Even though Kante applies pressure more often than Mount, the young Englishman is tasked with leading Chelsea’s press, with 80 of his pressures coming in the attacking third. This rushes defenders on the ball, forcing them to go long in an attempt to beat the press and effectively winning the ball back for the Blues.

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Comparing Mount’s defensive numbers of this season to last season, one can see a stark improvement. The evidence suggests that Mount is intercepting more per game (1.1 versus 0.4), tackling more (2.1 versus 1.0) and winning more duels (5.0 versus 3.4). Those numbers are really impressive considering Mount has not missed a single game through injury in his Chelsea career.


Mount is not the quickest player, nor does he possess a bag of flicks and tricks. What Mount does possess is awareness and phenomenal technical ability, which to the surprise of most, makes him Chelsea’s second-best dribbler this season in terms of quantity. Mount’s 18 dribbles completed are only behind Christian Pulisic’s 20. Interestingly, he is also joint-7th in the Premier League for nutmegs completed (four).

More importantly, Mount’s role in Chelsea’s system requires him to be a strong ball carrier. He has worked hard on building his physique, which has improved his ability to shield the ball while dribbling. He is currently Chelsea’s third best ball carrier behind Ben Chilwell and the ever-present Kante, carrying the ball a total of 3,926 yards.

Having successfully established himself as one of the best young midfielders in England last season, this is proving to be the season in which Mount establishes himself as a top-class talent on the European scale. There are very few players of a similar age that I can think of who are as well-rounded as him—James also comes to mind, as does rumored target Declan Rice. Staying injury-free for the next couple of seasons will be integral to Mount’s continuous growth.

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Chelsea fans who criticised him last season should be grateful for him this season. It seems as though it will take Havertz a considerable amount of time to adapt to his new surroundings. While he does so, his teammate of the same age continues to show his quality in every single game he plays. It is time that we all appreciate Mount for who he is: a young midfield engine who can do it all.