Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has denied that Mason Mount is given preferential treatment at the club, instead claiming that his continued selection is on merit and because his pressing game is as good as he’s seen in his career.
The 21-year-old has been a regular starter at Stamford Bridge ever since Lampard replaced Maurizio Sarri in the Blues dugout, and previously worked with him during a highly successful loan spell at Derby.
Mount has gone on to become a regular starter for England too, earning widespread acclaim from Gareth Southgate for his performances, but his close relationship with Lampard has often seen the Chelsea boss accused of favouritism.
Lampard sees it differently though, and insisted in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Champions League tie with Rennes that Mount’s status at Chelsea is a result of hard work and being exceptionally good at many facets of the game.
“He doesn’t do too many treble step overs and flicks over the back of his head as he shouldn’t do. He makes really efficient, clean, sharp passes, he presses as well as any midfield player that I’ve worked with or played alongside,” Lampard said.
“There are a hundred things within his game that impresses managers that he works for. He’s very easy and casual because he hasn’t got an Instagram reel of those flicks and it’s a different type of football which makes it easy for people to bracket him off. I certainly don’t.
“With Mason, I think there’s something about him, he looks clean cut, I think he’s doing one advert at the moment where he’s taking his top off and that’s about as edgy as Mason gets.
“When I say that, I don’t want to add fuel to the fire of him being my son because I’ve just been so positive about him. Because I know Mason has a lot to improve on but that’s what takes you on to his attitude and his desire to improve.
Lampard did concede that Mount can improve his goal contributions, through increased goals or assists, but remained adamant that competition for places will keep him honest.
“He can score more goals, he can make more assists, but he’s a quality, quality football player who can only get better,” Lampard added.
“That’s how I feel about him. But make no mistake, Mason Mount or any player in this squad will not be getting any favouritism from me about playing when there is competition in this squad.”