Mason Mount is set to explode this coming season.
Not literally, that would ask some serious questions of Chelsea’s medical team, but in a figurative sense.
The 22-year-old already has a Champions League medal to show for his efforts – let’s not forget it was his throughball that Kai Havertz latched onto in Porto – and he’s still very much in the developmental stage of his career.
Successful loan spells with Vitesse and Derby proved to be ample preparation for a first-team role with the Blues, a club he’s been connected to since he was six years old.
Under the watch of Frank Lampard, who had managed him at Pride Park, Mount looked every bit a Premier League player from his first touches in the top flight.
His progression continued last season despite a change in management.
Mount was dropped from the starting line-up for Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge but the German soon re-installed the academy product into the starting line-up, with effective results.
Simultaneously, he became a favourite of Gareth Southgate’s with the England gaffer valuing his defensive work rate in addition to his playmaking.
In truth, nine goals and nine assists in all competitions, while very respectable, doesn’t give a true indication of Mount’s true worth last season.
His underlying creative numbers – chances created per 90 minutes, expected assists, etc – suggest he was among the very best playmakers in the Premier League in 2020/21.
Essentially, he deserved more than six league assists and were it not for the wastefulness of Chelsea’s forwards, Timo Werner (£3.5m) in particular, his stats would be even more impressive.
And that’s why Mount could kick on massively this coming season, because it’s likely that his goal involvements will increase assuming Chelsea improve their efficiency in front of goal.
More broadly, many expect Chelsea to be stronger over the course of the season under Tuchel’s watch after his first half-season culminated with a European triumph.
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He finished as one of the best midfielders in 2020/21 having amassed 184 points when all was said and done.
His starting price for 2021/22 reflects this as only four players in his position cost more than him at this stage but £4.5m in unlikely to perturb his admirers.