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Is Mason Mount The Ideal Midfielder For United?

Mason Mount has been linked to a move to Manchester United. Chelsea are reportedly asking £70- £80 Million for the midfielder and the player's preference is United. His contract runs out in 2024 so the London club would be asking for a hefty fee for a player that has one year left on his deal. Quite fittingly Mount made his debut at Old Trafford in the 4-0 win for United in 2019. The 24 year old has been a first team player for Chelsea for some years now and has experienced loan spells at Derby County and Vitesse. He was also a part of the Chelsea team that won the Champions League in 2021 and provided the assist for the winning goal. While it's not been the best season for Chelsea or even Mount himself, he has shown in the past his quality. Just last season the England International scored 11 goals and provided 10 assists for Chelsea in the Premier League. Mount also won Chelsea's Player of The Year that season, an award he has won twice.

It's common knowledge that Man United need to sign a midfielder in the summer window. Many will undoubtedly remember the long negotiations and several trips John Murtough and Richard Arnold took to Barcelona for negotiations about Frenkie de Jong. A signing that never happened. Whether United will go again for the Dutchman remains to be seen. But Frenkie and Mount are very different players and have many different roles in their respective teams. De Jong can be deployed as a deeper lying playmaker or a holding midfielder and can be extremely press resistant, which helps with the build up in possession. However Mount for Chelsea especially under Thomas Tuchel would be deployed further up the pitch. Mount would play under the German in a much more attacking role. Under Tuchel's first season Mount created 87 chances in the Premier League. The second in the league that season only to Bruno Fernandes.

Under Frank Lampard's first stint as Chelsea manager, Mount would be used as an attacking midfielder in midfield 3, a number 8 or sometimes be used as an inverted winger. Mount played in these positions under Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter as well. Mount would often assist with defensive duties, have a high work rate and would join the press. He also took some responsibilities on set pieces, scoring some magnificent free kicks. However despite mounts versatility his best performances come when he's in the midfield rather than on the wing. He's not a pure creator like Bruno Fernandes however, Mount works tirelessly off the ball and uses his movement to create space for others. When he receives a pass Mount will often look to run into gaps in the opposition defence, he can be effective doing this due to a decent burst of pace and excellent technical ability the midfielder possesses. When Lampard played Mount out on the wing, it was an attempt to get the England International closer to goal, Despite Mount himself admitting he prefers a more central role in midfield.

When Thomas Tuchel took charge of Chelsea in 2021, he opted to play a 3-4-2-1 formation which left Mount playing behind a striker with another number 10 alongside him. He would play on both the left and right side of the midfield depending on opposition and personnel in the team. The Englishman earned both Player of The Year awards under Tuchel and had his best ever scoring season under him as well. 29 goals and assists across all competitions last season.

If Manchester United were to sign Mason Mount, Erik ten Hag would likely have to change the way his team builds in possession. Since Mount would be more efficient further up the pitch the majority of the build up would have to be done by the two centere backs and a progressive inverted fullback. A goalkeeper comfortable on the ball would be essential to this. Mason Mount would play alongside Bruno Fernandes in two advanced number 8 positions in midfield as they are more creative and both will tirelessly press the opponent. Very Similar to how Erik ten Hag used Gravenberch and Berghuis in his Ajax team from a few seasons ago. Similarly to Ten hag's Ajax team, their holding midfielder Alvarez was not proficient on the ball much like Casemiro. To counteract this Erik used an extremely technical centere back pairing of Lisandro Martinez and Jurrien Timber, with a progressive inverted fullback. United have been linked to Kim Min Jae from Napoli who could fulfil the role in defence with Martinez. United have also been linked to Jeremie Frimpong from Leverkusen, if the fullback was signed it could mean Luke Shaw would play in the inverted fullback role. This back line would likely be progressive enough in this system. However there are question marks about Frimpong's defensive abilities, and with a likely contract extension for Diogo Dalot, it seems he might play right back in this team.

Above is how Mason Mount could fit into a possible United team for next season.

Mason Mount has the abilities to suit this system, but United need to make sure they sign the correct players to be efficient in the build up to allow Bruno and Mount to flourish further up the pitch. A goalkeeper who can comfortably play out from the back, a progressive and technical centre back partner for Lisandro Martinez and depending on the futures of Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka a new right back capable of inverting to midfield. A trio of Casemiro, Mount and Fernandes would work with those signings but may not be effective against every team. So it would be wise for United to sign another midfielder alongside Mason Mount capable of playing a deeper lying playmaker role that Erik ten Hag initially wanted Frenkie de Jong to perform. While it may look increasingly unlikely that United sign the Dutchman, the club could look at cheaper options like Enzo Le Fée from Lorient. The club could also look to acquiring a back up to Casemiro that is more efficient on the ball. Someone like Romeo Lavia from the recently relegated Southampton would be a good signing. Both midfielders would provide quality depth for Erik's team.

Mason Mount has said himself that he does not mind to be involved in the build up of attacks, "I do like that central role, it allows me to build up play with the ball and also get forward and join the attack". Mounts ability to take the ball on the half turn would help United's problems in build up and signing the necessary technical defenders could significantly solve these issues. When facing difficult opponents Mount may drop deep more often in this side as opposed to operating higher up the field.

Mason Mount could become a fantastic signing for United. His work rate, positional versatility, set piece abilities, goal scoring threat and technical prowess could be a vital asset for United. It's clear why Erik ten Hag may want to sign the midfielder, the work rate and creativity he and Bruno could provide would be a fantastic addition to Erik ten Hag's side. Chelsea would likely ask for a significant amount of money to sell an academy product to a rival. So if United are willing to pay big money, Mount could be a great fit for Erik ten Hags team.

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