Editor’s Column: Mason Mount – The boy who had a dream

Back in September 2021 Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge unveiled a new banner of their academy graduate Mason Mount. Today it found its true meaning as a young lad who grew up in Portsmouth was announced as Manchester United’s new No.7.

The now famous banner showed Mount, who officially completed his transfer to Manchester United this morning, holding the Champions League trophy accompanied by the words: “Mason Mount. The boy who had a dream.”

Mount played the perfect through ball to Kai Havertz in the 2020/21 Champions League final that allowed the German to round Manchester City’s Ederson and score the winning goal.

Despite winning the biggest honour there is at Chelsea and spending 18-years at Stamford Bridge, Andy Mitten wrote an article this morning about how the club felt Mount was a United player from the first time that they made contact with him over a move. It is crucial that United only sign players they believe really want to play for them, rather than coming solely for a big contract.

The 24-year-old knew that Arsenal and Liverpool were interested — Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp known admirers — but he wasn’t even slightly tempted to move to either club once United came knocking on the door.

Unsurprisingly, United fans have been quick to come up with banner ideas of their own following Mount’s arrival. Stretty News writer @DaytrippingRed suggested Chelsea’s use of ‘the boy who had a dream’, only for the lads at TRA to share a fantastic concept as seen below.

Mount is costing United £55m and £5m in performance-related add-ons, which is a good price for Chelsea considering he had one-year left on his deal. From Erik ten Hag’s perspective United are landing a modern midfielder, capable of carrying out specific tactical instructions and leading the press. Essentially we are getting a vast upgrade on Fred, who could be leaving this summer with Fulham registering an interest in the Brazil International.

His final season at Chelsea was a complete write-off and that’s not on an individual note. It was a historically poor campaign which yielded record lows for points, goals scored and morale. The debut season under the Todd-Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership will be remembered for being a circus.

Mount was dealing with injuries, knocks and not having a stable position as Chelsea fired Graham Potter and Frank Lampard, who had the midfielder on loan at Derby County, was hired on an interim basis for the remainder of the season. He scored 11 goals and registered 10 assists in the Premier League, but United can expect a better return than that next season.

When the rumour began that Mount would have no problem agreeing personal terms with United, there was an immediate feeling of inevitability about the transfer. There was an uncertain response due to Chelsea’s asking price but nobody can deny Ten Hag is signing a talented midfielder with a remarkable engine.

Those that suggest he has regressed will be made eat their words.

Just look at the tremendous job Ten Hag did with Marcus Rashford last season after some people were flooding to social media ranting about why one our own academy graduates should be sold.

Come off it!

As we approach pre-season preparations, we can look forward to Mount’s goalscoring contributions next season. Especially when United’s forwards supplied 30 goals and 11 assists in 56 appearances last term.

Mount may have fallen victim to his surroundings in the last 12 months at Chelsea, but there is too much to suggest Ten Hag has signed a brilliant player for his deal not to break a smile on your face.

Where will Mount play for Manchester United?

Manchester United have been linked with at least one more midfield addition this summer, although it is understood that depends on player sales. Based on the questions we had about last season’s midfield, the Reds visibly need quality players versatile enough to cover multiple roles in Ten Hag’s system.

After all, you can sense panic in the fanbase whenever the manager had to call upon the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay because the difference in standard is clear when compared to Christian Eriksen and Casemiro.

That is why I think Ten Hag could play Mount in a deep-lying position to partner Casemiro. We know that he can play across the midfield in advanced roles but that is just a bonus. Ten Hag has been drawn to the player because of his work off the ball, while noting he is a clever creator at the same time.

Interestingly that could mean less game time for Eriksen and I think that will be accepted by the player, aged 31. It won’t be a dramatic cut because there will be games that will suit the Dane.

What do Manchester United need next?

Mount is a fun signing. It fixes a number of issues in midfield and we now have a player who can carry the ball into the final third. Buying a goalkeeper next would enable us to focus on our search for a new goalscorer.

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