Mason Mount (£2.7m) has developed a reputation as something of a teacher’s pet in the infancy of his career.
The 22-year-old was Frank Lampard’s most-trusted player at both Derby and Chelsea while many England fans suspect Gareth Southgate detrimentally favours him over the likes of Jack Grealish (£4.8m), Phil Foden (£4.2m) and James Maddison (£4.2m).
But any suggestions that the midfielder gets better treatment than he deserves continue to look more and more ridiculous as the weeks go on.
Much was made of the fact Mount was benched for Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge but he’s been a key component of the former PSG coach’s system in the three fixtures since, three victories no less.
A goal against Sheffield United served as just reward for his efforts in the last fortnight and it’s difficult to imagine Tuchel losing faith anytime soon.
“I don’t want to put a limit to his development,” the German said recently. “He has a lot of potential.
“Besides being a great footballer, he is a super-nice guy. He is eager to learn, hungry to win, open-minded and he can perform for any manager.”
So while rotation is to be expected to some degree, it’s fair to assume Mount will continue to play a key role for the Blues despite Lampard’s departure.
And perhaps there is a lesson to be learned for those quick to post memes when Mount is praised by his manager, whoever that happens to be at the time.
If Lampard, Southgate, Tuchel and all those who have worked closest with him believe him to be a player worthy of regular starts, then isn’t that probably the truth?
This subject matter is interesting from a Dream Team perspective as Chelsea’s quiet improvement under Tuchel raises possibilities.
With 96 points to his name, Mount is the best midfielder priced at £3.0m or cheaper.
In terms of pure value for money (points divided by price), Mount is outperforming every other midfielder in the top ten except Bruno Fernandes (£5.3m).
While eight goal involvements in all competitions may appear modest compared to Foden, Grealish and Maddison, Mount has been named Star Man in four games this campaign — evidence of his generally positive contribution in all aspects on the game.