The Reds are interested in signing the England international this summer, and it’s easy to see why
The chances are that Mason Mount will play for Chelsea against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, and so the conspiracy theorists and body language experts could be in for a busy night.
The England midfielder, of course, has been heavily linked with a move to Anfield recently, as the likelihood of him leaving Chelsea increases with each passing week.
Mount will enter the final year of his contract in June, and talks over a new long-term deal have stalled. The feeling, from both camps, is that a parting of the ways at the end of this season is both likely and indeed necessary.
Liverpool are keen to take advantage of the situation. They have admired the player for some time – they were close to signing him as an Under-16 player when Michael Beale, the current Rangers manager and former Chelsea academy coach, was with the club – and believe his age, experience and skillset make him an ideal fit for what is expected to be a significant summer rebuild under Jurgen Klopp.
Why do Liverpool want Mount?
At 24, Mount has firmly established himself as one of England’s best, if not its most celebrated midfield players.
He is young and energetic, a hard-runner and a fine presser. He also scores and creates goals, and has been Chelsea’s Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons, the first man to achieve that feat since Eden Hazard.
Perhaps just as importantly, from a Liverpool perspective at least, he gets himself onto the pitch regularly. In his six seasons as a professional, Mount has played 39, 44, 53, 54 and 53 games, and he reached 32 this term before picking up the groin issue which has kept him out of Chelsea’s last four matches.
Given the issues Liverpool have faced with the likes of Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Thiago Alcantara and Curtis Jones, that is a significant factor, as is the fact Mount can, if needed, play as part of the attacking line as well as the midfield one.
He has played wide on the left and as a No.10, both for Chelsea and England, and though Liverpool’s most pressing need is for smart, athletic No.8s in a 4-3-3 system, such versatility will always be welcome in a Klopp squad.
Any concerns over Mount’s form?
The downside, of course, is that Mount’s form this season has been patchy, but then the same could be said for many players at Stamford Bridge (or indeed Anfield).
Few at Chelsea are covering themselves in glory, a fact evidenced by the fact the Blues sit 11th in the Premier League table and are looking for their third manager of the campaign, with Graham Potter following Thomas Tuchel out of the exit door this week.
Mount’s struggles have been clear, having reached double figures for both goals (11) and assists (10) in the Premier League last season, he has managed only seven goal involvements this term, and only one since the turn of the year.
That has led, inevitably, to hefty criticism from Chelsea supporters, with Mount seen almost as a symbol of the club’s decline, much like England colleagues Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are at Liverpool.
Mount may have been with Chelsea since the age of six, and he may have played a key role in the Blues’ Champions League success of 2021, but it is fair to say that, for reasons unknown, he has never truly won over certain sections of the fanbase, and that plenty of fans would happily to see him leave this summer.
Their loss could well be Liverpool’s gain.
A manager’s dream
The flipside to that, of course, is that managers absolutely love him.
Potter did, Tuchel certainly did and Frank Lampard most definitely did. Gareth Southgate has an array of talented attacking midfielders at his disposal, but he has selected Mount 36 times for England, using him in four out of five games at the World Cup in Qatar.
Klopp, too, is a fan, admiring his work rate, smartness and tactical flexibility, as well as his uncomplicated technical ability. To play for Klopp’s team, you must understand the game, you must work hard against the ball and you must have the confidence and the capacity to play the final pass. Mount, at his best, does all of those things, and while he still has emotional ties with Chelsea, it is believed that a new challenge, a new manager and a change of scenery could see him return to that best level quickly.
Klopp, then, could offer the perfect solution. He has already promised that Liverpool will “definitely” spend in the transfer window, and in an ideal world he would love to team Mount with Jude Bellingham, his England colleague, in a new-look midfield at Anfield next season.