Frank Lampard has insisted there will be no favouritism regarding his Chelsea team and says that includes his “son” Mason Mount.
The 21-year-old Mount has a big future ahead of him, but he has faced some harsh treatment on social media from fans questioning his right to be in both the Blues team and the England side.
Mount, who scored for England against Iceland last week, has made seven starts from the nine Premier League games to date.
That has prompted some to label the midfielder “Lampard’s son” amid accusations of favouritism and Lampard defended the talented youngster last week.
But Lampard, speaking ahead of Tuesday’s game with Rennes, said: “We have a huge fan base, you talk about England and I think social media has changed the way people critique or look at football.
“It is very easy for someone to sit on the phone and make very harsh statements. With Mason, I think maybe he looks clean cut, he is doing an advert where he takes his top off and I think that’s about as edgy as he gets.
“He doesn’t do too many triple stepovers or flicks over the back of his head as he shouldn’t do. He makes really efficient, clean and sharp passes.
“He presses as well as any midfielder that I have worked or trained alongside and he does 100 things within his game that impresses the managers that he works for.
“It is very easy to say because he hasn’t got an Instagram reel of different flicks but it is a different type of football. It is easy to bracket him off and I don’t say that.
“When I say that, I don’t want to fuel the fire of people saying Mason is my son, because I know he has got a lot to improve on. That’s what takes you onto his attitude and desire to improve.
“He can score more goals, make more assists but he is a quality, quality footballer who is only going to get better. That’s how I feel about him.
“Mason Mount, nor any player in this squad, is going to get favouritism from me. We need to have competition amongst everyone in the squad.
“Midfield and wide areas we have options and no one gets any edge from me other than on how they perform.”
Mount trusted by Lampard, Southgate
Online criticism is water off a duck’s back to Mount, who said: “I don’t think about that side. I know that the focus is on the pitch. It doesn’t bother me too much.
“It means a lot to me to have two managers in Lampard and Gareth Southgate who have trust in me.”
Mount will be in the party which travels to Rennes in the champions League on Tuesday night, along with Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva.
Victory for Chelsea could see them qualify for the next round with two matches to spare.
Since losing 3-0 at Stamford Bridge earlier this month Rennes have also been beaten by Paris St German and at home to Bordeaux.
Coach Julien Stephan said: “Of course we’re not happy with our results. We played poorly against Bordeaux at the weekend, but we are going to improve.
“We are all desperate to find the solution to our problems. If it doesn’t happen tomorrow, it’s OK. Chelsea invested a lot of money in the summer. It’s a fantastic club.”