Joe Cole has revealed that it only took one training session to convince him that Mason Mount could excel at the highest level.
What did Cole say about Mount?
Reflecting on the first time that he watched Mount, Cole claimed that one piece of skill that the youngster produced showed him that he was a quality operator.
Cole said: When you’ve played the game, there’s certain things that maybe the naked eye doesn’t see. I remember joining in a training session with him and just doing a rondo, piggy-in-the-middle type session and he hit this pass on the half-volley as a 17-year-old kid just through the eye of the needle and that one pass was enough for me to go ‘that was special’.
It was almost like a Steven Gerrard-type pass through this gap and then the session progressed and then he showed more strings to his bow. And then you start speaking to the lads and you ask the other coaches about him and you start realising that this kid’s got everything.
Mindset has been top drawer. He’s physically better than what people think, technically supreme. So, that one session was all I needed to see the player he was and I’m not surprised he is where he is. That’s why I’ve been banging the drum for him for the last 12 months when people were doubting him. I was like ‘no guys, this is a serious player.’”
The Football Terrace: This is the ultimate Man City vs Chelsea Combined XI – Do you agree?
What are Mount’s stats this season?
Mount has gone on to prove Cole right in 2020/21, as he has become a key part of Chelsea’s starting line-up.
The 22-year-old has played in 36 of the side’s 38 league matches, and has recorded 12 goal contributions.
According to WhoScored, he has delivered 87 key passes in the league – Bruno Fernandes (95) is the only player in England’s top division to better this number. Based on WhoScored’s match ratings, Mount has been the sixth-best player in the Premier League this term, receiving an average mark of 7.33.
His performances have been recognised as he was awarded Chelsea’s Player of the Year earlier this month.
Can Mount become Chelsea’s Gerrard?
When Liverpool were in a sticky situation, they would often turn to Gerrard to bail them out.
In the 2005 Champions League final, he scored the team’s first goal which set the wheels in motion for a dramatic comeback win, and he almost single-handedly dragged Rafael Benitez’s men to FA Cup glory the following year by netting twice in the final against West Ham. He was the side’s big-game player.
Mount has shown early signs that he could have the same influence at Chelsea. In 2020/21, he has scored winning goals away at Fulham and Liverpool, breaking the deadlock when those around him were struggling to find the target.
He has also stepped up in Europe, scoring in the quarter-finals and the semi-finals to help book Chelsea’s place in Saturday’s final. This suggests that despite his tender age, he is a player that is able to set an example for his teammates to follow, much like Gerrard did over the years at Anfield.
Will Mount deliver in the Champions League final?
Of course, Gerrard’s iconic moments largely came in major finals. Mount has not been able to conjure up his own moment of magic on the grandest stage yet, having lost successive FA Cup finals in the last two seasons.
This weekend presents him with another opportunity to show what he can do, as Chelsea take on Manchester City in the Champions League final.
He has had an exceptional campaign, and if Chelsea are to get over the finish line, it is likely that Mount will have to be at the top of his game once more.
All eyes will be on the England international to see if he can deliver the goods, and inspire Chelsea to European glory on Saturday night.
BT Sport will show Manchester City vs Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League final live from 6:00pm on Saturday 29th May. Whoever you watch the final with, watch it together with BT. For more info go to btsport.com/final