After scoring the first hat trick of his career on Wednesday for Vitesse Arnhem — in a playoff game no less — Chelsea loanee Mason Mount was relentlessly pressed on the one question we’d all like answered: what’s next? Would he leave the Netherlands? Hop over to Ajax?
When is he going to win the Ballon d’Or? In a savvy, mature display of media-handling, the 19-year-old stonewalled every prying attempt, like a good professional does.
Here’s the blow-by-blow with a reporter who, to his credit, is dogged in his pursuit of the story. Mount will undoubtedly go through this sort of repetitive, banal questioning many, many more times in his career, especially if he lives up to his tremendous potential.
Q: There’s a lot of rumors surrounding you as well.
A: No, not at all, I’m always focused. My focus is on the last three games [all playoff games to qualify for the Europa League] and they’re very important games. We need to win the playoffs. And then when the season’s finished, then we’ll talk about what’s happening next season.
Q: Did you already during the season thought (sic) about where you want play next year?
A: No, not at all. My focus is fully with Vitesse. That’s all you can do and as I say, we have important games so my focus can never waver from that. And we need to win the playoffs and that’s a massive part for Vitesse as well, so that’s all I’m focused on.
Q: That being said, you need a couple more matches with Vitesse, of course, really important, there’s a lot of talk about Ajax. Would that be a good club for you, you think?
A: I’m not sure yet. I’ve got to finish the season off and then we’ll talk about what’s happening next season and we’ll see what happens, yeah.
Q: [Tireless reporter tries again!] What are the chances you staying in Netherlands?
A: [More stonewalling from pretanaturally mature Mount] I don’t know, I’m really, really not sure. [Laughing] As I said, my focus is with Vitesse, so for me personally, I don’t know what’s happening next season, so I can’t say.
Q: [Reporter throws in the towel] Last question, where would you say your focus is right now.
A: [Triumphant Mount] Vitesse.
-source: Voetbal Inside
As politely firm as he was about shutting down questions about his future, Mount was more than happy to discuss his hat trick in Vitesse’s 5-2 away win against ADO Den Haag in the first leg of the Europa League qualifying playoff semifinals.
“Three goals and an assist, of course I am very happy with that. My goal is to be important in every game, so that feels good. It is the first hat-trick in my professional career, and that is a great moment. It feels very good; this is the best feeling in the world; I am really happy.
“The ball loved me tonight. But also for the rest of the team. Every chance we had went in.”
The job’s not done until it’s done however, three-goal lead or no three-goal lead, as some of this year’s Champions League knockout round matchups showed.
“You see that they keep fighting until the end. We have to start the next game (Saturday) As if it were 0-0. And we also have to win that match again.”
-Mason Mount; source: Omroep Gelderland via Google Translate
If we talk about maturity being an indispensable part of a successful player’s character, then Mason Mount seems well-equipped to handle the challenges that lie ahead of him as he fights to earn a place on Chelsea’s senior team.