Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount is among the most successful dribblers in the UEFA World Cup qualifiers so far, according to Opta (via Whoscored).
The versatile 22-year-old has played various roles for the England national team under Gareth Southgate.
Recently, he has played in his more natural positions; either as a No.10 or a No.8, in Southgate’s 4-3-3 formation.
Playing in deeper positions likely gives Mount more space and time on the ball and consequently, more opportunities to beat players with dribbles.
The former Chelsea academy player of the year has had the fourth-highest dribble success rate (84.6%) in European World Cup qualifiers among players with at least 10 dribble attempts so far.
Out of his 13 dribble attempts in the competition, 11 were successful.
It is quite interesting since he has had a poor dribble rate in the Premier League, completing just two dribbles out of eight attempts.
Having to play in a more advanced position in Thomas Tuchel’s 3-4-3 system, often against teams who defend deep, has certainly played a part as well.
To put it into perspective, Kai Havertz, who often plays in a similar role to Mount at Chelsea this season, completed just one of 10 dribble attempts.
Chelsea’s lack of penetration into penalty area
Chelsea are at the top of the Premier League table, and Tuchel does not necessarily have to make any tactical changes. Still, making a few adjustments might help these talented attackers more freedom in the final third.
To be fair, Tuchel has also tried to instruct his wing-backs to make underlapping runs, allowing the inside forwards to occupy wide positions instead.
According to Statsbomb (via FBref), Lukaku has had the most carries into the opposition penalty box (8) at Chelsea in the league, followed by Mount and Havertz with five each.
These are far below the league’s best in this department, such as Manchester City’s Jack Grealish (37) or Wolves’ Adama Traore (22).
Interestingly, Timo Werner had the fifth-most carries into the box in the Premier League last season (57), while Mount ranked 15th with 38.
As his game time decreases, largely due to Lukaku’s arrival, the German has managed four in the league this season.
Obviously, the ability to dribble the ball into the 18-yard-box is just one aspect of the game, but it helps when passing or crossing becomes more difficult.