It’s been hard to temper our excitement over the progress 19 year-old Chelsea loanee Mason Mount has made in his first full season on a senior team. From a place on Vitesse Arnhem’s bench at the beginning of the season, to five goals in three playoff games at the end of it, he’s become the poster boy for a loan gone perfectly right.
The most urgent question being asked about him now is where he should play next season, to keep that spectacular growth going.
The short term-term answer, apparently, is with the England squad.
Mount’s 14 goals and ten assists — and quite possibly his mature-beyond-his years mental game — persuaded England manager Gareth Southgate to give Mason a week’s worth of work with England’s 23-man World Cup squad. It will be a great experience for Mount. But it will also give Southgate a chance to evaluate him, and other promising youth players, in person.
“We of course know about all of these young players, [Ryan] Sessegnon, [Jadon] Sancho, [Phil] Foden, Mason Mount, there are some super young players coming through.
”But again there are hurdles to overcome to really being in that position of someone like Trent [Alexander-Arnold] and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek], who for me have fulfilled lots of those steps.”
-Gareth Southgate; source: Goal
There were plenty of reservations about Southgate taking over the England job in the wake of the Allardyce controversy almost two years ago, first on an interim basis, then full-time, but there couldn’t be a better man to run the rule over Mount than the former head of The FA’s Elite Development program. Southgate was promoted to the seniors after three years in charge of England Under-21 where he lost just 3 of 33 games. With former Chelsea assistant coach Steve Holland by his side, Southgate clearly believes in young players and his England squad is the third-youngest ever taken to a World Cup.
In a season where Mason Mount has grabbed every opportunity that’s come his way, here’s another one he can capitalize on, before rejoining the England U19s in camp as they start preparations for the U19 Euros this summer in Finland. Maybe he’ll even have time to take a well deserved vacation as well at some point!