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‘Now that Tuchel picks him, everyone agrees’ – Southgate lavishes praise on ‘exceptional’ Mount

Gareth Southgate has lavished praise on ‘exceptional’ Mason Mount and believes Thomas Tuchel’s faith in the midfielder is now ensuring the youngster is given credit for his performances.

Mount was amongst England’s most impressive performers as the Three Lions continued their perfect start to World Cup qualification with a 2-0 win over Albania on Sunday, with the Chelsea star showing his increasing influence by breaking into the box to score the second of the game with a fine finish.

The 22-year-old has enjoyed an excellent season with the west London side, though received bizarre criticism over perceived preferential treatment for both club and country earlier in the campaign.

Mount has remained a key figure for Chelsea since the arrival of new head coach Tuchel however, and Southgate believes the German’s faith in the star has ended doubts over the midfielder’s value for both the Blues and England.

“He is a great player, but I was saying this in the autumn. I suppose now that Thomas Tuchel picks him, everybody will agree. When it was Frank, it doesn’t count for some reason,” he said.

“He is an exceptional player. He finds space intelligently, he manipulates the ball very well, he creates chances and he can score goals. I thought his performance was excellent tonight.”

Southgate discussed his side’s performance as they controlled the clash to remain top of Group I, two points clear of both Poland and Hungary ahead of a meeting with the former on Wednesday evening.

The England manager handed a start to Phil Foden against Albania, whilst Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips featured in central midfield as Southgate fine-tunes his side ahead of this summer’s European Championship.

“I thought Phil Foden was also good. I thought our attacking four were good. [Declan] Rice and [Kalvin] Phillips read the game well, competed well and won the ball back quickly. We had over 70% possession and controlled the game.

“In the end, we created more chances and we could have scored more.”

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