Mason Mount has enjoyed a very good loan spell at Vitesse Arnhem this season. He’s had nothing handed to him, he’s had to be patient, and he had to wait for the chance to establish himself in the starting eleven. But when he did get the chance, he made the most of it and rapidly rose to prominence as one of Vitesse’s most important players. On Sunday, he made his 21st consecutive start, notching a goal in Vitesse’s 5-0 demolishing of bottom-of-the-table Twente and ensuring Europa League participation next season for Chelsea B*.
As a suitable reward for his efforts, the 19-year-old has now been voted as Vitesse Supporters’ Player of the Year! He’s the third Chelsea loanee to collect this award after Christian Atsu (2013-14) and Slobodan Rajković (2010-11).
A chief creative force and attacking presence in the side, Mount has racked up 9 goals and 8 assists across his 25 starts and 9 substitute appearances in the Eredivisie and Europa League. His involvement in 16 goals in the Eredivisie was higher than any teenager’s in the league, including the likes of Justin Kluivert at Ajax, who’s been linked with Bayern Munich in recent times.
For more of a Chelsea-related context, Bertrand Traore had 14 goals and 5 assists playing for Vitesse (mostly as a striker), Christian Atsu tallied 5 goals and 6 assists, and Lewis Baker registered 10 goals and 2 assists last season from central midfield, similar to Mount.
As always is the case for players who do well out on loan, the next step is crucial, as has been demonstrated by Lewis Baker’s catastrophic season on loan at Middlesbrough following two successful years at Vitesse. Interest in Mason will be high, following his exploits this season - if The Sun is to be believed (contradictory, I know), a whole host of clubs have expressed their interest in taking the starlet on loan, or even buying him outright. The European clubs name-dropped in the article are Ajax, PSV, Werder Bremen and Sporting Lisbon with Ajax and Bremen the ones wanting to buy him, although Chelsea are certain to not entertain any inquiries of that nature. A host of unnamed British clubs have apparently contacted Chelsea as well, including three Premier League clubs. It’s also mentioned that Chelsea have considered ‘fast-tracking’ him into next season’s first-team plans but that depends on countless variables that are yet to be resolved.
A move to the Bundesliga would probably be the best option for Mount however. It’s where Kevin De Bruyne and Andreas Christensen flourished; even lower-profile loanees like Michael Hector and Lucas Piazon were given chances at Eintracht Frankfurt. The only anomalous case has been that of Tomas Kalas and his half-season at the then newly-promoted FC Koln, where he didn’t play at all. English youth in Ademola Lookman, Jadon Sancho, Mandela Egbo and Reece Oxford are also among those that have had opportunities at RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach. There are umpteen reasons as to why, but giving younger players chances is clearly valued more in Germany than it is in England. That’s also the case in the Netherlands but unfortunately the quality of the Eredivisie is closer to that of the Championship than the Premier League.
Hopefully discussions over Mount’s future this summer will prove fruitful and we’ll get to write many more times about his achievements and successes, next season and beyond.
* Ed. note: due to the relationship between the two clubs, questions will undoubtedly be raised about both Chelsea and Vitesse being in the same UEFA competition, but this has been investigated multiple times already and there should be no conflict of interest issues.