Football News

Mason Mount has “become a complete player” at Chelsea, says Gianfranco Zola

By Ben Green

Published: 10:59, 1 June 2021 | Updated: 19:12, 10 September 2021

Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has lavished praise on Mason Mount, believing the Champions League-winning midfielder has “become a complete player”.

Mount, 22, was instrumental as Thomas Tuchel outfoxed Manchester City in the Porto showpiece, becoming the first English player to provide an assist in a Champions League final since Wes Brown in 2008, perfectly teeing up Kai Havertz on the stroke of half-time.

The Londonders executed Tuchel’s gameplan to a T, nullifying the attacking threats of Pep Guardiola’s side and restricting the North West juggernaut to just the single shot on target, with the German collecting a hat-trick of scalps over his Catalan counterpart in just two months.

Praise was evenly distributed across the turf as every Chelsea player performed their role with distinction, but Mount was once again the creative hub of operations, a responsibility he has taken on throughout the campaign for both club and country.

Such was Mount’s stellar form in 2020/21, that across Europe’s top five leagues and the Champions League, the England international was the only player with 90+ shots, 90+ chances created and 90+ tackles, illustrating the full breadth of his footballing palette.

Such a diverse skillset has not been lost on fans, or pundits it would seem, with former Blues talisman Zola heaping praise on the versatile midfielder, believing he has now “become a complete player”, able to perform multiple tasks with merit in Tuchel’s well-oiled system.

Zola told talkSPORT: “He’s become a complete player.

“He can attack, he can score, he can assist and defend.

“This is necessary in modern football. Before, if you were able to score goals you could do that, but now if you want to be successful you have to work so hard. We saw that the other day [in the Champions League final].”

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Mounts’ 2020/21 numbers

Despite Chelsea struggling for consistency at times this season, notably the pre-Tuchel era under Frank Lampard, Mount maintained his levels of excellence across the campaign as the club lifted the European Cup, finished in the top four and reached the FA Cup final.

It is no great secret that England manager Gareth Southgate is a fan of Chelsea’s academy gem, and he has reason to be an advocate of his qualities, with the 22-year-old creating more chances than any other English player in Europe’s top five leagues this season (87).

In fact, only Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandes (95) created more chances in the Premier League this term than Mount, while he also finished sixth in the overall charts across Europe’s top five, with Hakan Calhanoglu (98), Memphis Depay (94), Thomas Muller (93) and Filip Kostic (89) topping the charts.

On top of that, Mount’s nine goals and seven assists across all competitions are certainly numbers not to be sniffed at for a player only in his second full season in the Chelsea XI, and they are likely to improve if the club continue on their current trajectory under Tuchel.