Thomas Tuchel hails ‘absolute team player’ Mason Mount after another impressive performance in Chelsea’s victory at Tottenham but warns there is still ‘a lot of room to improve’
- Mason Mount has instantly proved his worth to new Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel
- The England star was dropped for Kai Havertz in Tuchel’s first game in charge
- He has worked his way back into the team and impressed in the win at Spurs
- Tuchel collected the biggest win of his reign so far against Jose Mourinho’s side
Mason Mount was simply indispensable for Frank Lampard, remains vital to Gareth Southgate and has wasted no time proving his value to Thomas Tuchel.
Tuchel’s first move upon replacing Lampard as Chelsea’s head coach was to drop Mount and recall Kai Havertz but the 22-year-old England international has quickly fought his way back into the team.
‘We had no doubt he had potential and was the team player he is,’ said Tuchel, after Chelsea won 1-0 at Tottenham on Thursday, inspired by another excellent display from Mount.
Mason Mount has instantly proved his worth to new Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel
Mount was excellent again as Tuchel picked up his biggest win of his reign so far at Tottenham
‘We watched the team and he was a regular starter with Frank. We did not choose him for the first game because we opted for a slightly different profile for the two number 10 positions. When he came in, he showed what a big influence he can have from the bench.
‘You can be very sure that Mason leaves his heart on the pitch for Chelsea and this is what we need. He is an absolute team player and still young. Is there a lot of room to improve? Yes, even for him.
‘I told him not to worry, he can be even more decisive and more dangerous with his decisions in the last 20 metres.
‘I don’t want to put a limit on his development. Besides being a great footballer, he is a super-nice guy with a big personality, he has motivation, he is eager to learn, hungry to win, open-minded and he can perform for any manager. What more could you wish for?’
Over time, Tuchel will be expected to squeeze more from Havertz, who was signed for a club-record fee of up to £71million last year from Bayer Leverkusen and operates in a similar style to Mount.
Lampard found it was difficult to get them both into the same team and his reliance on Mount meant Havertz has spent large parts of his first season in London on the sidelines, offering little return for the club’s enormous investment.
Tuchel’s first instinct was to go with the 21-year-old German but required less than 90 minutes of his first game, a 0-0 draw against Wolves, to reach the same conclusion as his predecessor.
Kai Havertz has struggled and spent large parts of his first season in London on the sidelines
Mount has started in subsequent victories against Burnley and Spurs while Havertz has featured for only 10 minutes but Chelsea’s new coach is keen to keep everyone on their toes.
‘From here, there are no guarantees for anybody, not even for Mason,’ said Tuchel.
‘There are no gifts so he has to earn his place in every training session and every match. It is a team effort and Mason is the first to agree on that and to behave like that. He is a competitor so we will keep on pushing him like all the others.’
Victory at Tottenham moved Chelsea above their London rivals, up to sixth in the Premier League and within four points of Liverpool in fourth.
‘I cannot care less because I cannot influence other results or what other teams do,’ said Tuchel when asked about the race for the Champions League places ahead of a trip to Sheffield United on Sunday.
‘I know there are too many teams between us and the Champions League places and I know it may be boring but I simply know no other approach than to take it step by step.
‘Once you raise you head and look at more than one game you lose your focus. For me it is not possible.’
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