Ten Hag explains aim for deeper Mount role

Friday 18 August 2023 22:30

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag appreciates Mason Mount will take a little time to adapt to a new position in the team's midfield.

The summer signing from Chelsea is expected to perform a deeper role than he was used to at Stamford Bridge but has all the qualities to thrive in the system Ten Hag envisions will help United compete for trophies again this term.

The boss likened the situation to Christian Eriksen's arrival last summer, with the Denmark international tweaking his game in order to become a key midfield component in his first campaign as a Red.


Part two: Press conference v Tottenham Video

Part two: Press conference v Tottenham

Press conference part two | Ten Hag issues an encouraging fitness update and speaks about Mason Mount's role...

Mount made his competitive debut in the 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday and is in line for his second appearance, back in London, in Saturday's teatime trip to Tottenham.

"I think he can [play deeper]," the manager said of his new recruit. "Already, we have seen it in pre-season, but it's what I've said, definitely we have to work on many facets of our game but also that facet about midfield and the co-operation, how we have to set it.

"I'm sure we will get it [right], but it's not coming overnight and [if] it was easier then everyone could do it."

Mount has also operated further forward for England and is known for his pressing capabilities but Ten Hag has a firm plan in mind when it comes to bringing the best out of the 24-year-old.

"Christian Eriksen, last season, came in and had the same," explained Erik. "First time in his life he played in a deeper role and that was the ambition from Christian and then also the ambition from Mason.

"And so he wants to be more multifunctional. That's the way I see football, but as I say, it will not come overnight. There's a process we have to go through, but he’s very game-intelligent.

"He has the technical abilities, has also good vision on the ball. He knows how to deal with the ball. He has the dynamics, don't forget that. He has the mentality. So, all the ingredients are there to do it."

There should be an interesting midfield battle at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which could go a long way to deciding where the game is won or lost.

Spurs have introduced James Maddison, a big-money signing from Leicester City, into their side, while Yves Bissouma impressed in the 2-2 draw with Brentford.

United brought on Christian Eriksen and Scott McTominay against Wolves in a bid to gain more control in the engine room. Eriksen, of course, could face his former club at the weekend.