Ashley Cole has explained why he thinks that Mason Mount is Chelsea’s key player, following the midfielder’s match-winning display against Liverpool on Thursday night.
The Blues boosted their top four hopes and extended their unbeaten run under Thomas Tuchel with an excellent 1-0 win over the champions at Anfield, condemning Jurgen Klopp’s side to a fifth successive league defeat at home for the first time in their history.
While there were a number of impressive displays on the night, the key man was undoubtedly Mason Mount, the England international capping off a fine performance with a superbly taken goal, the midfielder cutting in off the left before curling a pin-point effort into the bottom corner.
That strike means the 22-year-old now has three goals in just eight Premier League games under Tuchel, after netting only twice in 18 league games under the German’s predecessor, Frank Lampard.
When the Chelsea legend was sacked at the back end of January, many felt that it could heavily reduce the versatile midfielder’s game time, particularly when he was left on the bench for Tuchel’s first game at home to Wolves.
Since then, however, Mount has started every game for the club – bar the FA Cup win over Barnsley – and has become arguably the most consistent attacking player in the side, with the likes of Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner all struggling with form and fitness.
“What Mount produced today was brilliant,” Cole told Sky Sports. “He’s one of the most focal players of this team. He presses with intensity, he mentioned that they wanted to press high and try and regain it high, he’s the one who initiates the press.
“He starts it, he’s got the movement, he’s got the understanding now and he’s adding goals to his game. He has to start focusing on scoring and being more effective, but what a player he is. He’s got that attitude and for me, next season, he will definitely be pushing for the captaincy.
“I guarantee you after the first or second training sessions of [Tuchel] watching Mason Mount, he was the first name on that team sheet. I worked with him at Derby, I’ve watched him at Chelsea, I’ve seen the dedication, hard work and graft he puts in, not just in the training session but after. For me, he’s the best player for Chelsea.”