Chelsea was victorious yet again this weekend as the Blues dominated their west London rivals, Fulham, by a final of 2-0. While the scoreline might not be particularly imbalanced, Chelsea looked the better side and remained relatively in control for most of the match. This win was extremely important, as it will give the team a much-needed confidence boost heading into Wednesday’s Champions League semifinal second leg against Real Madrid.
Kai Havertz was obviously the Blues’ standout player against the Cottagers, scoring both goals and earning Man of the Match honors in the process. Many of his teammates were impressive as well, especially an English trio who will be competing for spots on this summer’s English national team for the Euros. Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell, and Reece James all performed particularly well for Chelsea against Fulham and are deserving candidates for England’s squad.
Where to begin with Mount? From being dubbed “Frank Lampard’s son” to becoming a sneaky late nominee for EPL Young Player of the Year, the 22-year-old has undoubtedly been one of Chelsea’s best players this season. With eight goals and seven assists in all competitions, Mount has been a terrific all-around midfielder and an integral part of the Blues’ revolution under Thomas Tuchel, who dubbed the young Englishman “the full package” during Saturday’s post-match interview. His work rate off-the-ball has been equally important.
As it relates to the England team, Mount’s versatility will be very useful. Assuming Gareth Southgate continues using his preferred 3-4-3 formation, which Chelsea has largely been utilizing since Tuchel’s appointment, the Cobham product could be deployed on either of the wings alongside Harry Kane or in the center of midfield. If either Declan Rice or Jordan Henderson, the two presumptive starters in the double-pivot positions, are unable to play, then Mount would be a natural fill-in. And given the injury problems that these two players have suffered this season, that is a very distinct possibility.
Chilwell has also increased his chances of a call-up to the Euros squad in recent weeks. His assist for Timo Werner’s goal against West Ham on April 24 was a beautiful piece of team play that ended with an inch-perfect pass between two Hammers defenders. Both going forward and defensively, Chilwell has solidified himself as Chelsea’s first-choice left wing-back, and will likely be in contention for the same spot with England. He will have fierce competition from Luke Shaw, though, as the Manchester United defender has been in top form this season.
James will also have to fight for more national caps, as many fans will know about the overabundance of English talent on the right side of defense. He has been the standout player in that position so far this year, providing five assists in 40 total appearances for Chelsea. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Trent Alexander-Arnold are the other likely candidates to start at right-wing back, so Southgate will have an extremely difficult decision on his hands. Seeing as James is more comfortable playing in a back three than either AWB or Trent, though, he might have a slight advantage.
England’s squad announcement for the Euros this summer will obviously come with much fanfare. Given that football almost came home in 2018, expectations for the team will be extremely high, and thus, the players and manager will be under a ton of pressure. However, Mount, Chilwell, and James have all been terrific this season, and are deserving of places in the national team. Only time will tell if they receive the call-up, but any of them being left out will certainly result in some raised eyebrows among the Chelsea faithful.