Derby County manager Frank Lampard insists Mason Mount possesses the work-rate and mentality to play for Chelsea’s first-team.
Mount is currently on loan at Derby but will return to his parent club Chelsea at the end of the season.
Mason Mount’s 2018/19: five key things to know…
- Mount joined Derby on a season-long loan last July, making his Championship debut in August.
- The attacking midfielder has scored seven goals and provided five assists in 33 appearances across all competitions this term.
- His impressive form saw him earn a call-up to the senior England squad for UEFA Nations League matches in October.
- He didn’t make his international debut but is seen as a potential England regular for the future.
- The 20-year-old has two years left on his Chelsea contract and is yet to make a senior appearance for the club.
Lampard will have been familiar with Mount ahead of his loan as the youngster came through Chelsea’s academy during Lampard’s time at the club.
And the Rams boss, who won multiple honours with Chelsea, believes Mount has everything it takes to be a regular for his former team.
Lampard told Goal: “Firstly, he has the potential to be a top player, and I mean that. He broke into the England squad which I thought was a great achievement after playing for us. I think he can go as far as he wants. I have seen a progression in him now.
“He has played two-thirds of a season now in the Championship, which is full throttle and very taxing on a young midfielder to be the creator that he is. Also the amount of work he does off the ball for us, which I think goes unnoticed, he has been fantastic in doing that for us.
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“He is a player who really wants to learn and be at the top. It is as important as the talent itself. He works fantastically hard. He is a good team-mate and he has the talent to go to the top. He has been a pleasure to work with.”
Lampard went on to praise the youngster for not shying away from trying his luck overseas, believing his loan spell with Vitesse in the Netherlands shows Mount has “personality”.
He added: “His choices have been really good. He was very successful in the Chelsea academy and youth team, as a team and for him as an individual. He took a leap to go abroad. That in itself, in terms of his personality, says a lot and he performed brilliantly there in terms of goals and assists.
“He has come to the Championship and performed very well here as well. So I think everyone’s pathway is different. We know that at Chelsea it is quite difficult to get into their first team at 17, 18 or 19 years of age, but he hasn’t sat still. He has actually gone out and played and played a lot of games.
“I would be delighted for him [to play for Chelsea]. I know what a great lad he is as well. He works so hard, and he has a good mentality. If anyone deserves it, it will be Mason, and I would be absolutely delighted for him to get in that team.”
Lampard: Moving abroad isn’t right for every English youngster
Mount spent the 2017/18 campaign on loan at Eredivisie club Vitesse, scoring 14 goals in 39 games for the Dutch club.
A number of English youngsters have left for foreign clubs in recent years, including Jadon Sancho who is enjoying a successful stint with Borussia Dortmund in Germany.
But Lampard doesn’t believe it is the correct decision for every player.
He added: “It depends on the individual. Fair play to the ones who do decide that. If they feel it is going to enhance their career for whatever reason. I think it can be a different choice for many reasons.
“I think for some that it can be good to stay with their parent club. For some, it might be better to go out on loan in the UK, for some it is somewhere else. It will always come down to how dedicated and talented the player is, without a doubt.
“Choosing the right pathway is an important element of it but the ones who rise to the top, no matter the pathway, are generally the ones who have the right mentality and attitude.”