For Frank Lampard, Mason Mount was invaluable, remained vital to Gareth Southgate, and did not waste any time proving his worth to Thomas Tuchel.
After replacing Lampard as the head coach of Chelsea, Tuchel’s first move was to drop Mount and recall Kai Havertz, but the 22-year-old England international soon battled his way back into the squad.
‘We did not doubt that he had the talent and was the team player he is,’ said Tuchel, encouraged by another excellent performance from Mount, after Chelsea won 1-0 at Tottenham on Thursday.
‘We watched the squad and with Frank, he was a regular starter. For the first game, we did not choose him because, for the two number 10 slots, we opted for a slightly different profile. He showed, when he came in, what great impact he could have from the bench.
‘You can be very confident that Mason is leaving his heart on the Chelsea pitch and that’s what we need. He’s an absolute player of the team and still young. Is there a lot of space for enhancement? Yes, for him, too.
‘I told him not to worry, he might be even more decisive and more dangerous in the last 20 meters with his decisions.
‘I do not want to impose a cap on his progress. He’s a super-nice guy with a great personality, he has motivation, he’s willing to learn, he’s hungry to win, he’s open-minded and he can play for any manager, besides being a great footballer. What more could you have desired? ‘
Over time, Tuchel is expected to squeeze more from Havertz, who was signed by Bayer Leverkusen last year for a club-record fee of up to £ 71million and works in a similar style to Mount.
Lampard discovered it was hard to get both of them into the same squad, and his reliance on Mount meant that Havertz spent most of his first season in London on the sidelines, providing no return for the enormous investment of the club.