England and Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount has been told he would “improve any team in the world” and it is “unfair” that he has been criticised.
The 23-year-old is blossoming into a complete midfielder and is already a vital player for England and Chelsea.
Mount has been adored by every manager he has worked with over the past few years and Gareth Southgate is one of his biggest admirers.
The leader of the Three Lions has always trusted Mount, who started in the 6-2 win against Iran on Monday.
England are spoiled for choice in midfield, so it’s a credit to Mount that he’s keeping his place ahead of the likes of Phil Foden and Jack Grealish.
The Athletic reported on Thursday evening that Mount is due to leave for England again on Friday when they face the United States in their second group match.
Prior to this clash, Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Adam Lallana suggested Southgate were “exactly right” to start Mount earlier this week.
“Mason Mount is a manager’s dream,” Lallana told the Times.
“England’s glamorous selection would have been to play Phil Foden as no. 10 along with Bukayo Saka and Sterling, but picking Mount was another of the calls Gareth Southgate got absolutely right.
“And it comes as no surprise to me having worked with Graham Potter at Brighton that Mount has started all but one of the Premier League and Champions League games since taking over at Chelsea in September.
“I have a soft spot for Mount because I see some similarities in the way we play and what the coaches ask us to do.
“He fields what Southgate wants from his team and he will also do it at Chelsea. When Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool in October 2015, I tried to do it, as I am now under Roberto De Zerbi at Brighton.
“That may earn you the teacher’s pet tag, but it’s a compliment. Sometimes I hear comments around Mount like “What does he do?” Perhaps this is based on judging players solely on goals and assists.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course, but this is total rubbish in my book. I think it would improve any team in the world.”
Lallana continued to insist that Mount “can deliver great moments”.
“If a question mark against him is whether he can deliver great moments in great matches, then I think that too is unfair.” Lallana added.
“See the Champions League final in 2021 and the threaded pass he produced to assist match-winner Kai Havertz in Chelsea’s win over Manchester City.
He also scored for England against Germany in September and, again, it’s important to underline his age as, at 23, he’s still evolving as a player. I didn’t even make my international debut until I was 25.
“There’s plenty of time for him to have his big moments in big games for England. Hopefully in the next few weeks.
“His teammates will know exactly his worth. That ability to give the ball to someone in a better position as quickly as possible is what the game is all about. If only everyone did it.”
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