Premier League • England

Joe Cole wants doubters ‘educated’ over ‘most important’ Chelsea star

Mason Mount with Chelsea team-mate Timo Werner

Former Chelsea and England star Joe Cole feels Mason Mount is now one of the ‘most important players’ in England and underappreciated by fans outside of Stamford Bridge.

Mount, 22, bagged a hat-trick as the Blues thrashed basement boys Norwich City 7-0 on Saturday. The result sees Thomas Tuchel’s side sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table. Mount has played his part, with five starts among seven top-flight outings in 2021-2022.

And he has also been a regular for England, making 13 Three Lions appearances this year. Having come up through the Chelsea youth ranks, the Portsmouth-born ace has now enjoyed 118 outings in all competitions.

He has notched 20 goals and is highly thought of among the Chelsea faithful. However, many England fans have questioned why he is given so much game time by Gareth Southgate.

Cole is a huge fan of the midfielder and believes those still unconvinced would benefit from some footballing education.

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“He doesn’t [get the credit] he deserves – he does from people within the game,” he told BT Sport, per The Evening Standard. “I’ve never met one ex-player or one coach who doesn’t appreciate him.

“He’s a top, top outstanding player, he’s becoming one of the most important players in the country. But there is an unusual level of fans – I don’t know if it’s rival fans or whatever – who don’t quite get it.

“You want to sit them down in front of a touchscreen and educate them and show them that what this kid does is just unbelievable.”

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Mount a valuable all-rounder

Regular strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner were unavailable to face the Canaries due to injury. The pair were both forced from the pitch as Chelsea beat Malmo 4-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

Mount started alongside Callum Hudson-Odoi, playing just behind Kai Havertz as Tuchel improvised his attacking ranks. And the German tactician feels the talented youngster is a vital cog in the machine.

“We play in most games with three strikers and Mason is one of them,” Tuchel told reporters. “You can say he’s maybe between a No8 and a N10, so not a real striker, so in that way we really depend on him. He plays a key role.

Chelsea coaches Thomas Tuchel, Arno Michels and Zsolt Low, May 2021

“The wing-backs play with more freedom to help our strikers really in the last line and they feel more and more confident. It’s a complex game. There’s very rarely one reason why things happen like this – but we depend on Mason and we want to.”

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