Why Erik wanted Mount's signature

Thursday 06 July 2023 09:00

Mason Mount is a complete midfielder who can offer goals, assists, versatility and character to Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United team.

That’s the view of The Debate panel, which this week consisted of two former Reds in Wes Brown and David May, plus journalists Carl Anka and Rob Dawson.

Mount’s move from Chelsea to Old Trafford was confirmed on Wednesday morning, with the England international putting pen to paper on a deal which will keep him in Manchester until at least June 2028.

And Dawson believes that if Mount shows the same productivity he did during his senior spell at Stamford Bridge, our money has been well spent.

The Debate: What impact will Mount have? Video

The Debate: What impact will Mount have?

🎬💬 The Debate | The panel discuss Mount’s move, other potential new additions and United’s pre-season tour…

“He’s probably been signed as much for his goals as for his work off the ball as well,” said the ESPN journalist.

“The way he presses, the way that he works in that Chelsea midfield is probably something that caught his attention when he was trying to sort of figure out what you need to do for next season.

“In terms of his attacking output, obviously last season wasn't his best. He struggled with injuries and a bit of form. I think every Chelsea player probably struggled last season, but the season before he scored, I think it was 11 Premier League goals, 10 Premier League assists.

“I mean, they're massive numbers for a central midfield player and if he can replicate that over the course of a five-year contract, he's going to look like a massive bargain.”

Anka, of The Athletic, cited Mount’s ability to fulfil a variety of different roles in midfield too, as well as his penchant for pressing.

“I think the thing that Ten Hag is really impressed about is his off-the-ball work,” he said.

“He is a professional pest. He's very, very good at stopping the opposition's defensive midfielder getting on the ball.

“That's why Gareth Southgate really enjoyed him. That's why Thomas Tuchel really enjoyed him. If you're trying to play really good counter-attacking football and stop that team building up from the back, the midfielder jumping out to get that ball is Mason Mount and he just runs and runs and runs and runs.

“So those will be the really, really important things for United this season.”

‘He’s a professional pest!’ Video

‘He’s a professional pest!’

The lads on The Debate name the key reasons why they feel Erik ten Hag wanted Mason Mount at United…

Mount’s arrival kickstarts the Reds’ transfer window and Ten Hag can already look back on summer 2022 as a successful one for additions.

Characters like Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez bolstered the squad a year ago and David May hopes that, even though he is still young at 24, Mason is in the same mould.

“He's obviously played with a few of the England lads as well, but I think the lads have touched on it,” said May.

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“The fact that he can step straight into the team, knowing the way that Erik ten Hag wants to play and he’s got a great engine.

“He scores free kicks and simple goals as well and what he will add is a lot of experience, as much as he's young.

“You know, he's a clever, clever player. And yes, he’s in the last year of his contract. Is it a lot of money? It's irrelevant, really.

“What you've got is a player for the next five years. He's a top, top player and he's not even in his prime yet.”