Erik ten Hag is expecting big things from Mason Mount after watching the midfielder make his debut for Manchester United in a 2-0 pre-season friendly win over Leeds United in Oslo on Wednesday evening.
The big-money summer signing played the opening 45 minutes of the victory in Norway, with youngsters Noam Emeran and Joe Hugill on target in the second half.
Prior to the match, there has been speculation over a potential positional switch for the former Chelsea man, who played in more of a No.10 role during his time at Stamford Bridge.
However, there have been rumours that Ten Hag brought Mount to Old Trafford to play in a deeper midfield role, similar to the change he made for Christian Eriksen when the Dane signed last summer.
But Mount lined up in a more attacking role against the Championship side, a game in which Fred was not even included in the squad, and went close with a clever chip that drifted over the bar before he was withdrawn at half-time.
And, speaking about how he felt the Red Devils new boy did on his debut, Ten Hag told MUTV: “Mount? Yes, he was great. We all expected this from him. This was just his first game but he is going to contribute to our performance so much. We have seen some good things and good stuff.
“We have already trained like this over the last year and you can see that foundation in our play. the young lads fit our play. We show them our rules and principles – they showed us that today.
“They come in and it is a big moment when you come up into the first-team squad. You deserve game time – you work so hard for so many years then you get that opportunity, here. Two of those players have scored to win the game.”
Mount buzzing after United debut
Mount was also delighted to be back in action and making his debut as a United player, adding: “It felt great to be on the pitch. We have had that time in training and we have been working so hard, so it is great to show that in matches now. We have been working on a few different tactics.
“The first week is all about fitness and getting work into the legs, but I have a big understanding now of how the manager wants to work and how the boys play. In the second half, the younger boys were amazing in the second half.
Mason goes *so* close to finding an opener! 👀#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 12, 2023
“It is so exciting for the club to see them come on and make that impact. I really liked the role I was in today. Being able to drop in and build up the play from a bit deeper, but with that license to go forwards and make runs into the box and be involved in more attacks.
“I like to start off the press, to give the opposition something to think about and then to combine that with an attacking threat and rhythm of our own.”
United are back in action on July 19 when they take on French side Lyon at Murrayfield Stadium.