Is Mason Mount the next academy star from Chelsea? We profile the talented teenager
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 19/05/18 7:37am
Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount has been setting the Eredivisie alight on loan with Vitesse Arnhem, so could he be the next academy star to break into the first team? We profile the 19-year-old…
The west London side sent 38 players out on loan last season to varying degrees of success, but one name that shines is Mount.
The teenager has excelled with Dutch side Vitesse as they secured a Europa League play-off spot and England manager Gareth Southgate mentioned him when listing the young players who are on his radar during his press conference on Thursday.
Here, we take a look at his short but successful career so far and if a spot in the Chelsea first team is on the horizon.
Mount was born in January 1999 in Portsmouth and initially signed for the Blues as a six-year-old. The 2014/15 season saw him make seven appearances for the U18s before establishing himself as a regular across the youth teams the following year, making 23 appearances for the U18s - netting six times - and coming off the bench on five occasions for the U19s.
He scored in the FA Youth Cup final first-leg tie against Man City as Chelsea went on to defend their title in the 2015/16 campaign, as well as assisting twice during a 3-0 UEFA Youth League semi-final win against Anderlecht as the Blues won the second successive European title.
Mount moved up the ranks again last season as he became a regular in Chelsea's development squad, making 27 appearances and scoring four times, as well as captaining the Youth Cup squad for the U18s as Chelsea won the trophy for the fourth time in a row.
His club success saw him called up into the England U19 squad for the European Championships last summer, having previously played at U16 to U18 level.
He scored the first goal of the competition for Keith Downing's side in under a minute as they beat Bulgaria 2-0 in their opening group game, and was vital in the final as he nabbed the assist for Lukas Nmecha's winning goal that saw England lift the trophy, adding to the three assists he already provided.
Mount featured in the Team of the Tournament and was named as Player of the Tournament, and he was sure England would come out on top, telling UEFA.com: "100 per cent I thought we'd be standing here... We had so much confidence, we knew we could get through the group and the semi, if we got to the final we knew we'd win it."
Success with Vitesse
Rather than heading back into the Chelsea youth system, Mount was sent on loan to Eredivisie side Vitesse in July, where he was recently named as the club's player of the season, although he did not have the best of starts.
After making his senior debut at the end of August, he had to wait until September 20 for his first start in a KNVB Cup first-round defeat to AVV Swift. He followed it up 11 days later with his first goal, netting the equaliser during a 1-1 draw against Utrecht after coming off the bench.
7 - Mason Mount has scored seven goals with his last seven shots on target in all competitions. Gold.— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) May 15, 2018
Since then, he has only gone from strength to strength, making 32 Eredivisie appearances and scoring 14 goals, but it is in the last few months that he has truly excelled. He has scored six goals in his last six games - including a hat-trick against ADO Den Haag in the first leg of their play-off semi-final.
But he has also been helping his team-mates with six assists in his last seven games too, including one in the ADO Den Haag victory to add to his three strikes. With his brilliant efforts, he became the first player to be directly involved in four goals in one match for Vitesse since Wilfried Bony in February 2013.
Mount has also had experience of the Europa League - where Chelsea will be playing next season - featuring in all six of Vitesse's group games, and broke a competition record for the most chances created by a teenager in a game when he faced Lazio in November.
Vitesse captain Guram Kashia has seen many Chelsea loanees come and go in his eight years at the club, but has hailed Mount as the best he has seen. He told De Telegraaf. "Man, this boy is brilliant. At the beginning of the season, I saw him as a little boy with us at the training. I liked him and saw that he was a smart player, but thought he was too young. I never thought he would go that forward.
"I have seen very good talents, but Mason is the best. [Bertrand] Traore, for example, was great, but with him it went step by step in a year and a half. What this boy does for each other in one season ... it's as if he suddenly improved 50 per cent. "
First team breakthrough?
It is notoriously difficult for youngsters to become Chelsea first-team regulars, although there is hope for Mount, with academy graduate Andres Christensen making the breakthrough recently. He spent two years on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach where he was named player of the year for the 2015/16 season and also competed in the Europa League - both of which Mount has already done.
The Sun also reports that the Chelsea hierarchy want Mount to report for pre-season training with a view towards fast-tracking him into the first team rather than another loan move. He signed a new four-year deal with Chelsea last summer, but he could have a new manager to impress with Antonio Conte's future still far from decided.
If he does move into the senior squad, there will be fierce competition for places. Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro are just a few of the offensive midfielders in the squad already even before incomings.
Could he go elsewhere?
If there is no room for Mount in the Chelsea first team, there are a number of other clubs who are reportedly interested in the 19-year-old. Back in the Netherlands, Ajax and PSV are said to be tracking his progress while Vitesse would surely like to keep him on their books. In England, Newcastle, QPR and Reading are reportedly interested in his services while Sporting Lisbon and Werder Bremen have also been touted.
For Mount, he is ultimately aiming for the first team, but has admitted his future is up in the air following the end of the season, telling De Telegraaf: "After this season, I go back to Chelsea and hear what their plans are. For me, everything is still open - another year of Vitesse, returning to Chelsea to go for my chance or going on loan to another club. Ultimately, it is my goal to play for the Chelsea first team. That has been the case since I came to Chelsea as a six-year-old. "
Like all young talent, Mount needs minutes in senior football to improve his game, which he may not get at Chelsea. However, the Blues will be wary of letting other talented players - the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Mohamed Salah springing to mind - slip through their fingers.