Player of the year, Ballon d'Or nomination & Tuchel's top scorer - Chelsea must reward 'star boy' Mount with lucrative new contract
Chelsea were given a timely reminder of Mason Mount's worth in the incredible 7-0 win over Norwich City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
The hat-trick hero blew away Daniel Farke's poor Canaries side, opening the scoring with a long-range strike and he followed it up with a penalty and a late tap-in. By that stage, all three points had been long secured.
Without £150 million ($206m) of striking talent - both Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner were injured - Thomas Tuchel looked to a new look frontline at Stamford Bridge.
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He found an even more fluid and exciting attacking unit as Mount linked up well with both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz in a new-look front three.
The 22-year-old has been a topic of debate this week with his contract situation coming into focus; Goal first revealed that the Blues are willing to offer him a lucrative new deal as he has just two-and-a-half years left on his current terms.
However, after a near-perfect end to last season, and getting an assist in the Champions League final for Havertz, Mount had recently lost his best form.
Ahead of the match against a newly-promoted Championship team, Mount hadn't scored in 25 games for club and country. Perhaps that's why he was seen mouthing: 'It's about f***ing time!' after his eighth-minute goal.
That scoreless run just isn't good enough for a player of his quality and came as he made his return from a first significant injury since coming back to the west London club after a series of loans.
It was a rare period when Mount had been unable to show his best - recently being described as 'mentally tired' by Tuchel.
With the match ball under his arm on Saturday, Mount admitted that he hadn't been happy with his own form as getting goals and assists is what he is ultimately judged on.
“Before the game I put pressure on myself to get on the scoresheet, then three came around in the same game. It’s obviously a massive moment for me. I’ll remember this one for a long time," Mount told BT Sport after the match.
"Sometimes you’ve got to take a backwards step, but in the last couple of games I’ve felt at it and ready to play. It’s a big moment for me to score three at home at Stamford Bridge.”
It's remarkable that such a young player sets such high standards for himself given that he is Tuchel's top scorer since becoming manager in January.
Now on nine goals since the German came in, Mount is three clear of the next highest scorers, penalty specialist Jorginho and Havertz.
"To have the hat-trick for Mason is huge because it is a massive moment for him," Tuchel said afterwards. "He is very, very proud, he put massive pressure on himself. I feel him a bit lighter and him playing with more freedom in the last matches and this is what we need.
"There was a lot of games and are still a lot of games for him at a very young age. He was and still is very competitive and he is serious about his goals that he wants to reach.
“I feel him a bit lighter now and it means a lot that he has a hat-trick under his belt as an academy boy."
He also won the club's player of the season award, along with being the current Premier League academy player of the year, and he's even earned himself a Ballon d'Or shortlist nomination.
It's clear that he should no longer be seen as just another young player produced from Chelsea's academy and instead he should be regarded as a real star of this team.
Mount's status within the dressing room is already huge, earning the respect of Tuchel for the way he works off the field and earning the nickname 'star boy' from his peers.
Chelsea must offer Mount the contract that he deserves, putting him on a salary level similar to Havertz and Werner, and reflect his status as one of the chief difference-makers at the club.