Chelsea were knocked out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night by Manchester United and the absence of some key players certainly had an impact.
Frank Lampard understandably made six changes to the starting XI during a busy fixture schedule, which gave promising youngsters like Billy Gilmour and Marc Guehi the chance to impress.
But on the field the Blues weren’t quite at their sharpest, as they saw a seven-game winning streak come to an end and will now look to start a new run away to Watford at the weekend.
One man who was definitely missed by Chelsea was academy graduate Mason Mount, who has emerged into a vital player in a short space of time.
The 20-year-old was out on loan at Derby County last season, but midweek the Chelsea team didn’t look the same without him and his absence was massively felt.
Mount started on the bench in the 2-1 defeat to United and a late 20-minute cameo hardly gave him enough time to save his side from exiting the cup.
The attacking midfielder has quickly established himself as a mainstay in the Premier League XI, where he’s taken the top-flight by storm and looked a natural at the elite level.
He’s already chipped in with four goals and two assists across all competitions this season, but he offers so much more than just a goal threat.
The Englishman sets the tone in attack with his tireless pressing, while he links up the play to the midfield too and often produces a moment of magic.
There is certainly room for to improve moving forward and the youngster needs to try impact games for 90 minutes, but it’s clear he’s already become one of Lampard’s most important players and he will only get better.