Chelsea insider gives verdict on Mason Mount transfer

Mason Mount has already been announced as Manchester United’s first signing of the transfer window.

We wanted to catch up with Chelsea fan and insider, Simon Phillips, to get his verdict on the move. Si runs a successful Chelsea newsletter and his opinions are often published on Talk Chelsea.

Some fans believe United have overspent (£55m plus £5m in add-ons) for a player with one year left on his current contract at Chelsea, but we can’t forget he was one of Erik ten Hag’s primary targets.

United spent over 100 days chasing Frenkie de Jong last summer, only to miss out on his signature at the end. Nobody wanted the same wild-goose chase this summer.

Without further ado, I have asked Si a number of questions about Mount. We hope you enjoy it!

Mason Mount Q&A with Simon Phillips

Dale: You’ve had some time to think about Mount leaving for United. Tell us your thoughts now he has gone?
Simon: “It’s very sad to see Mason leave Chelsea after being here for so long. He had a poor season last season (like most Chelsea players) and I was looking forward to him recapturing his form under Mauricio Pochettino. Believe he could have thrived under Poch. He’s a great player there is no doubt about it, and I think he will be missed. You always thought he could create legendary status at Chelsea like some of the greats, but he certainly will not be now. Mason is not irreplaceable and its always club over player. Chelsea will move on and be just fine without Mason.”
Dale: What do match-going Chelsea fans make of it?
Simon: “Saw a real turn on this the week before Mason left. The issue is that it’s impossible know exactly what happened due to the PR reporting on it being so different. But I started to see a real turn in fans opinions in that last week when they heard Mason was pushing to leave. I saw quite a bit of resentment towards him.”
Dale: We’ve heard about your success in the academy and years of farming multiple talents on loan deals across different networks. Mount’s departure must come with more emotion than others since he came through the ranks and played a pivotal role in winning your lot the Champions League. Does this make you ask questions of Chelsea’s approach to developing their own? 
Simon: “Of course, it’s difficult to digest. But in the end, I understand that some in the club just didn’t believe losing Mason would be the same level mistake as losing Kevin De Bruyne or Mo Salah, and I think Mason sensed that from them in the end. It’s sad when an academy player who has made it, then moves on. But stories do not always have a happy ending, and so be it, we all move on.”
Dale: Mount is only 24. To say he regressed last season, like some United fans will fear, doesn’t paint the full picture. What kind of player are we getting?
Simon: “Every manager he has had has loved him, that isn’t just a coincidence. On form, Mason can be one of the best around at what he does – High energy box-to-box midfielder who puts his body on the line, but also has the technical ability. For me his best position is an 8, and he was often played out of position at Chelsea because of his intensity in the high press. I think if you use him as an 8 which is what is rumoured that Ten Hag wants to do, then you really see what he can do when he gets on the ball in deeper areas. I don’t think he’s world class yet though, but he has a fair chance of getting there.”
Dale: Why did contract talks go sour with Chelsea?
Simon: “Depends who you ask! Chelsea will tell you that they made perfectly good and fair offers to Mason that was rejected. Whereas on Mason’s side, they will tell you that Chelsea moved the goalposts from an offer that they verbally accepted around Christmas time, tried to offer a one-year extension instead to buy some time, and then the damage was done. Mason’s side felt undervalued. Chelsea pure and simply just did not rate Mount high enough to battle hard enough to keep him, that’s what it boils down to, and time will tell if that was the correct decision or not. But once the damage was done and United came calling, there is no doubt that Mount started pushing for that move and decided a long time ago that he was joining United. So really, everyone can be at fault a little in this, and mistakes were made. But it just got to a point of disrespect between both parties and there was no going back.”
Dale: Finally, what will you remember Mount for at Chelsea? 
Simon: “He provided us with some great memories. His first season in the first team when we had a transfer ban under Frank Lampard was great. He wore the captain’s armband and the future looked great for him with us. But the standout is his great assist for Kai Havertz to score in the Champions League final. He peaked at Chelsea then, but it was only downhill from there unfortunately.”

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1 Comment

  1. mount will join Sancho/ Va De Beek/ Anthony, in having his career come to a grinding halt , Mount end up on Utd’s bench keeping them company

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