Why Mason Mount should be benched for England
There has been a lot of talk recently about Mason Mount’s form and although it has dropped a little of late, there is no doubting his quality. There’s a number of reasons that could be the case, including being burnt out from last season or just simply he was so good last year he’s struggled to replicate that form.
However, despite his scintillating performances for Chelsea last term, Mount is yet to turn in a keynote performance for England.
Gareth Southgate has been blessed with a plethora of attacking options and Mount is among that group. During the Euros, and in the qualifying matches the Three Lions have played since, Southgate has most commonly opted for a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 formation where Mount has played the 8/10 role.
Mount is exceptional for Chelsea and his best attribute is finding pockets of space, drifting around, and linking the midfield to the attack. He also has an excellent work rate and that is part of the reason that Southgate likes him.
Unfortunately, because of how Harry Kane has evolved his playing style some of the most dangerous spaces that Mason picks up normally aren’t available. Phillips also has an exceptional range of passing so some of England’s attacks can completely bypass Mount.
Unlike in Chelsea’s 5-2-3 system, the Three Lions don’t play with wing backs and only Luke Shaw really bombs forward for overlaps, so Mason floats out to the right hand side to find space and receive the ball where he is much less effective.
For that reason, we think that there might be a better man for that job and that man is 18 and plays in Germany.
We are of course talking about Jude Bellingham. The ex Birmingham man is unbelievably mature for his age in terms of both his ability and mentality. The fact he moved to Germany so young, is proof of his raw talent and what he can do.
Bellingham is a phenomenal player, and his skillset is ideal for how Southgate wants to play. Former Dortmund manager Lucien Favre, talked about just how key he is “Jude senses when he needs to leave his position and head forward. That’s very important.”
What Favre is talking about was demonstrated time and time again in Dortmund’s 2-1 win in the Champions League against Besiktas. Bellingham scored the opener and then assisted Erling Haaland for the winning goal but what was most impressive was his ability to retain the ball and move it on quickly.
The 18-year-old is best when he plays on the right hand side of a midfield three, as he has done for Dortmund, and not only does he suit the play style of many of Europe’s top clubs but he’s also perfect for England.
The Three Lions came unstuck against Italy in the summer when the Azzurri were able to maintain possession for long periods of the second half. Bellingham can dictate the play as well as some of the best central midfielders in Europe and his excellent decision making when it comes to maintaining possession would allow England to sustain attacks for long periods of time.
This is no slight on Mount but the ability that Jude has suits Southgate’s side down to the ground and in the long run he is the better player for England’s run at the World Cup in just over a years time.
Hopefully, they’ll be blasting Hey Jude out of the PA system in Qatar next November.