Kai Havertz is a Chelsea player at long last, adding further competition at the attacking positions. His versatility will mean that he’s going to challenge every other attacking player for minutes, and his price tag will put pressure on Lampard to play him (though the coach has had no problem dropping still-record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga).
In any case, Havertz’s arrival is an easy story to spin into “current player unhappy”, and that’s what Germany’s Bild have done this weekend. Unfortunately for them, and perhaps because they’re just throwing darts at a picture of the Chelsea squad, they picked Mason Mount as the target of that story. If there’s one player whose place is least under threat, it’s Chelsea’s leading appearance-maker and a player who’s played a key role for Lampard for two straight seasons, first at Derby County and then at Chelsea last season.
In fact, here’s what Mason Mount’s father, Tony, who’s played a key role in Mason’s development throughout his career, thinks of that story.
And let us recall that Tony once advised his son to leave Chelsea for better/easier opportunities for first-team football, only to be told by young Mason that he will be the first academy player since John Terry to make it to the first-team — and that’s precisely what he’s done. Mount’s many things, but he’s definitely not a quitter.
“You don’t want to be the boy leaving Chelsea, you want to train like every session is your last session because you know you always have to prove something to people.”
-Mason Mount; January 2020
Chelsea insider Matt Law adding his perspective to the story, which confirms that Mount, who’s currently with the England national team, “couldn’t be happier” at Chelsea. He’s playing a massive role for his boyhood club after all.
I'm sure most people have seen the tweets from @Mounty57 but for those who haven't, any suggestion Mason Mount is unhappy or upset by Chelsea signing players for him to compete with is completely incorrect. He couldn't be happier at Chelsea #cfc— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) September 6, 2020
Mount has been at Chelsea the vast majority of his young life, joining at age six (6!) and growing up over the past decade and half witnessing Abramovich’s Chelsea spend large amounts on players just about every summer. This is part of the normal at the club, and part of Mount’s mentality.
Many have pointed to an interview done by the 21-year-old back in January with the Daily Mail, when he laid out precisely this scenario and how he’d respond to it.
“For me, it’s about having that same attitude I have had since I was six and making sure I never lose it. You just have to fight. You know Chelsea can always buy £60million or £70m or £80m players that are world-class. They want to come here and take my place.
“Just because I am an academy boy and young, that doesn’t mean anything. But the mentality I have means I won’t be pushed over easily. I will fight for my position and keep working hard. At a club as big as Chelsea you have to have that mentality. It always stuck with me. It’s why I am here in the first place.”
-Mason Mount; January 2020
Will Havertz take minutes from Mount? Maybe. Will Havertz play a lot and take minutes from others as well? Probably. Have Chelsea gotten better in attack, with more quality and quantity of options? Most likely. Will there be strong competition that will force players to sink or swim? You bet! Will Mason Mount shirk from that challenge? Nope.
Things can always change in football and change quickly, but if there’s one player we don’t have to worry about in the squad, it’s Mason Mount.