Mason Mount has become Frank Lampard’s “teacher’s pet” at Chelsea because the Blues legend sees shades of himself in a playmaking star of the present, says Pat Nevin.
The man calling the shots at Stamford Bridge knows all about the value goalscoring midfielders can offer any given cause.
Lampard once filled that role for Chelsea and England, plundering 211 goals for the Blues while earning 106 caps with his country.
Mount is following in those illustrious footsteps, with a regular role being nailed down at club level and with the Three Lions.
At 22 years of age, there is still plenty of potential in his game to be unlocked.
Greater end product is being demanded of him, after netting a match-winner against Fulham last time out, and Nevin can see why Lampard is taking so much pride in Mount’s development.
The former Chelsea winger told the club’s official website of a home-grown star looking to work his own way into Stamford Bridge folklore: “I think we all know how much he adds to the team, even when it doesn’t show up in the statistics of goals scored and assists.
“Mason is well capable of upping those numbers and I think he will soon enough. He is getting into great positions and even though sometimes in the system he is starting from a slightly deeper position than he did compared to when he first broke into the side, he is timing those runs towards the box better all the time.
“He is also not afraid to have a few pot shots just now. Against a team like Fulham, who spent a great deal of the game camped, or more accurately, pushed back into their own penalty area, having a pop from 20 yards is often among the best options.
“In these situations the keeper is often unsighted by his own massed ranks of defenders and on top of that, any deflection is difficult to read. Mason’s goal against Morecambe, as well as his strike at Fulham, were perfect examples of the benefits of long-range efforts.
“We know Frank Lampard used to score plenty in those sorts of situations and maybe some think Mason is the teacher’s pet because he reminds the manager of himself in many ways.
“Maybe there is a little something in that, but it is more about Mason’s own qualities and the fact that just now he is running into some of the best form of his young career.
“Two goals in two games might be the start of a run of goals that not only Frank has been demanding, but that Mason has been demanding of himself.”
Chelsea, who have slipped to seventh in the Premier League table, will be back in action on Tuesday when they take in a testing trip to fellow title hopefuls Leicester.