Mount can reach summit for Chelsea and England
Frank Lampard says he's not concerned by Mason Mount's swift rise to stardom and the early signs are that the Chelsea man can take everything in his stride.
Mount has been one of the star performers for Lampard’s youthful side in the early weeks of the season as the 20-year-old has been given a chance to impress in the Premier League.
Lampard knew all about Mount after managing him on loan last season at Derby County and he’s now been rewarded for his strong early-season form by being named in the full England squad for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers next week against Bulgaria and Kosovo.
Mount was called up by Southgate last season but has yet to win his first cap, while he was invited to train with the full England squad in the build-up to last summer’s World Cup.
The potential has always been there but now Mount appears to be handling the step up without any problem and looks set to blossom into a top star for both club and country.
Far from being overawed by the call-up, Lampard is confident Mount will be able to handle the new scrutiny on his career and he has no concerns he will continue to progress at a rapid rate.
“We’re delighted for Mason, it is great recognition,” Lampard said. “I’m not concerned about it, I spoke about this after (beating) Norwich. I’m confident in his strength of character, desire and hunger. Those things won’t affect him.
“Everyone has to keep their feet on the ground to a degree, he first and foremost. I think he will as it’s only the start for him in terms of his Chelsea career.
“But I’m confident he will take the responsibility that comes with it and keep working, because that is what is important now.”
Lampard’s words serve to underline how he feels about Mount but there is also a veiled warning in there for the rising star. The Chelsea boss, who himself first played for England when just 21, knows it is still easy for players of Mount’s age and ability to fall away, but from what we’ve seen of him so far in his debut Premier League season, he can handle everything coming his way.
Mount was excellent in the opening half of Chelsea’s first game of the season at Manchester United – a top-flight debut to remember despite the eventual 4-0 defeat – as he proved he was good enough to mix it with the likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and co.
He’s played every minute of the Blues’ first three league games and has already scored two goals, leaving some fans to suggest Chelsea have finally found the long-term successor in midfield to their current manager. A box-to-box type with a real eye for goal and a player they can rely on to dominate games and pick them up when things aren’t going so well.
Of course, it’s very early days for Mount but he has the perfect role-model in the dugout and his quickfire rise to prominence should only continue to move in one direction.
Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.