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Vitesse technical director calls Mason Mount the best player in the Eredivisie

Vitesse v OGC Nice - UEFA Europa League Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

A list of the winners of the Dutch Footballer of the Year reads like a list of some of the greatest talents to have ever played the game: Bergkamp, Gullit, Van Basten, Van Nistelrooy, Van der Sar, Stam, Romário, Litmanen, Suarez. There have been misfires of course (Kezman comes to mind immediately, as he always does, or Alfonso Alves) but even in what’s considered a generally weaker league, the best of the best are worth paying attention to.

This year’s honor was bestowed on Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Hakim Ziyech, who’s currently on his way to the World Cup with Morocco. The 25-year-old scored 9 goals and assisted twice as many, while playing all but 17 minutes the team’s 38 combined Eredivisie and European games. To say that he was a key player for Ajax would be understatement, and as such, he’s perhaps not long for them. He’s been linked with Liverpool, Everton, and most strongly AS Roma in a move valued around €30m.

But at least one man is not having it that Ziyech was the best player in the Eredivisie this season. That man is Vitesse technical director Marc van Hintum (who replaced Mo Allach at the start of the season). For him, the best player, or certainly the best midfielder in the league was 19-year-old Chelsea loanee Mason Mount.

“We have been able to enjoy a great talent. At Ajax there are no better players in the midfield, you know. No, not Ziyech either. Mason has everything: work rate, stamina, tactical ingenuity, technique, depth (determination?) and dynamics. He can put pressure and has scoring ability. He can even head. He has the right mentality and he is intelligent. All conditions for a top career, and then it really is about the world top, are present.“

Van Hintum may be biased, but Mount certainly has turned a lot of heads this season, including back home in England, where he was invited to train with the national team for a week at the start of their preparations for the World Cup.

“That internship with the English national team is the result of this. That was crazy, though. Mason really got into the spotlight this season at Vitesse. Yes, that is also a compliment to Vitesse and Eredivisie.“

Given how fantastic he’s been over the past 12 months, the next steps become even more crucial. Making the right choices in player development is never easy, especially when this much talent is on the line. Mount’s talent must not be allowed to go to waste.

“But Mason must now also take the next steps.”

-Marc van Hintum; source: Gelderlander via Google Translate

Chelsea have of course closely followed Mount’s development, with Eddie Newton, Chelsea’s head loan technical coach, agreeing with much of what Van Hintum is saying.

“He has shown his talent in the Netherlands. From our point of view, it took a long time before he started playing. [but] his impact at Vitesse was then exceptional. Of course we already knew his qualities. He was not for nothing the Academy Player of the Year. But Mason also had to fulfill his promise. His statistics are great now.”

“But Mason must now also take the next steps. This was only the start. Mason can carry a team. But he still has a long way to go. Everything is about progress. It is also about mentality. Determination. The willpower to succeed.”

Could the next step still be at Vitesse? Unlikely, but no decisions have been made yet.

“We are going to sit somewhere quietly in the near future. With Mason, the family, the management, the club. Then we outline his future. That must be good for him and his development.“

-Eddie Newton; source: Gelderlander via Google Translate

So say we all.

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