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Why Signing Mount Could Be a Smart Move for Man United


Why Signing Mount Could Be a Smart Move for Man United

With his contract set to expire in a year's time, plenty of clubs having been linked with a move for Mason Mount. Chelsea could look to cash in on the Cobham academy graduate, not only to avoid seeing him leave on a free transfer but to ease the wage bill of their massive squad whilst earning a big profit from a player that came through their system.

Manchester United have emerged as a surprise favourite for Mount to sign for next, and we’ve looked at why the England international could be a great signing for the Red Devils.

Fits The System

Erik ten Hag has done an impressive job in his first season with Man United, guiding the Red Devils to a fourth-place finish along with domestic silverware. The tactics that the Dutchman has been building towards in his debut campaign would be a great fit for Mount to slot into in multiple positions.

The 4-2-3-1 formation that ten Hag has favoured, could see the 24-year-old take up a role in several different spots. One of the most obvious positions is as a deep creator in midfield next to Casemiro, a role that Christian Eriksen has performed well in this season.

Mount has the attributes to get forward and get involved in forward moves and passing sequences, creating a triangle on the left side with Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw, for example. Mount’s energy in midfield and willingness to run back and get tackles in when needed would be valuable in this role, with Eriksen’s defensive work often being a weakness. The Danish midfielder ranks in the bottom 3% of midfielders in terms of tackles made per game, with an average of 0.98 per match. Mount’s average over the past season has been a much better 1.98, despite often being played further forward.

Some of Mount’s best showings for Chelsea have come when underlapping from an inside right position, a position that allows him to drive forward and play intricate football around the box, as well as being able to find men at the back post. Mount’s effectiveness when making those runs from an inside right position were highlighted when he got that brilliant goal against Porto in the Champions League en route to Chelsea’s 2021 triumph; rolling around a defender before sliding the ball into the far corner. Bruno Fernandes often likes to drift over to the left side and get involved with the attacks, and Mount could fill a gap when underlapping on the inside right position that is often vacated. Alternatively, Mount could play on either side of the attacking three behind a striker, using his pace and agility to get up and down the flanks as well as being able to find that final ball to a striker.

Whilst there have been times where they haven’t shown it as much as ten Hag would have liked, ten Hag has been vocal in the past about wanting his team to be able to play out from the back and press from the front. The signing of Mount would allow the former Ajax boss to further reinforce that, by having a midfielder that is tidy and calm on the ball when playing out from the back and can also charge down the opposition quickly when not in possession. A position further forward could even improve United’s press, with Mount being one that can close down defenders and midfielders further up the pitch.

Strength in Depth

Man United have been impressive this season, with a strong midfielder trio of Casemiro, Eriksen, and Fernandes. However, when all three of those haven’t been fit, ten Hag has had limited options in terms of players that can come in and fill the void, often resulting in a big drop-off in quality. Mount could come in to play regular football whilst ten Hag still alternates between midfielder partners.

Bruno Fernandes is rarely injured but there are games in which he could do with a rest and hasn’t looked his best. Especially if United perform as well as they did this season and progress into competitions that will see their fixture list as congested as it was, Mount could fill in the number 10 role if Fernandes is in need of a rest.

Mount could also come in to provide competition for Eriksen in that deeper playmaker role, with the 31-year-old not really having anyone else to come in and replace him with the likes of Donny Van de Beek, Scott McTominay, and Marcel Sabitzer all having injury problems that have limited their game time this season. With the latter of those three not likely to make his loan move to United permanent in the summer, Mount could be a younger replacement that helps bolster a midfield that has lacked squad depth at times this season.

At 24-years-old, mount could be a crucial United player for years to come, even being the long-term successor to 31-year-old Eriksen or Fernandes who is approaching his 29th birthday.

Bags of Quality

Of course, it wouldn’t simply be a squad player that United would be getting with Mount as he is a very talented player that is good enough to start in a team fighting for the title. Some fans and pundits like to label the former Derby loanee as ‘overrated’, but make no mistake that Mount is a top player.

When on his best form Mount has shown that he can be regarded as a top player. The Chelsea academy product was instrumental when the Blues lifted the Champions League in 2021, with Mount providing the assist for Kai Havertz for the winning goal. It was a season that saw the Englishman named as Chelsea’s Player of the Year in a historic year for the Blues.

Mount followed up the Champions League heroics by producing his best season last campaign. He received his second Player of the Year award after recording a magnificent eleven goals and ten assists in the Premier League. Only Mohamed Salah and Jarrod Bowen were the other two players that season to record ten or more goals and ten or more assists.

He hasn’t had a good season in 2022/23 - but neither has any Chelsea player. The club has been in turmoil with the endless raft of midfielders and struggles on and off the pitch meaning a reduced amount of playing time as Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter, and Frank Lampard have all had a hard time choosing a functional XI out of over 30 squad players. Injuries also haven’t helped Mount has had time on the side-lines with a pelvis injury.

When Mount is fit, he has shown that he can be a terrific player and capable of reaching numbers that put him among the best. His energy and work rate along with his ability make him a valued player for any manager, shown by the trust that has been instilled in him throughout his time in West London. There is a reason why plenty of managers like Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp are supposedly keen on luring Mount to their respective teams, and if Erik ten Hag could be the one to bring Mount to Old Trafford, it could be a very shrewd addition.