Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has warned his team not to become over-reliant on midfielder Mason Mount to win them games.
The 22-year-old has become one of the first names on the team sheet after his dramatic rise for the Blues. He followed Frank Lampard back to Chelsea after a loan spell at Derby, subsequently becoming a favourite of the manager. However, he has cemented his growing stature under Tuchel.
The midfielder has played in all but three games in all competitions since the German took over in January. He has also made some vital contributions, scoring in the Champions League quarter-finals and semi-finals.
Mount then impressed in Saturday’s FA Cup final defeat to Leicester, with an outstanding save from Kasper Schmeichel preventing his certain equaliser.
Before then, he struggled to affect the 1-0 loss to Arsenal and got a rest for the Premier League win over Manchester City.
Speaking to Chelsea’s official website, Tuchel insisted that his other players must not rely too much on the England international. He also admitted that Mount’s change of position has affected his performances.
“We tried to give Mason a little break recently because he gave a lot in the Real Madrid games and he has been so decisive for us,” the manager said.
“We didn’t have much time between those games and the [Manchester] City match, particularly when you factor in the travel, but we wanted him to rest to conserve his energy and his form.
“I think he struggled a little bit in the game against Arsenal in terms of having his usual high standards and impact on the match.
“He has played the last few games in a double six role, which I don’t think is the best position for him, but I’m still so happy with Mason.”
Tuchel proud of Mount
“In the cup final, perhaps he could have played with a little more composure but don’t forget, if it wasn’t for an incredible save from Schmeichel, then he would have scored an equaliser,” Tuchel added.
“It wasn’t to be but Mason is always a dangerous player for us and we should be careful that we don’t over-expect from Mason.
“He is a key player for us in every match, he’s always so decisive and that will not change for the next three matches. He is absolutely key for us.”
Mount can again prove his worth on Tuesday, when Chelsea play Leicester in a huge clash affecting the battle to finish in the top four.