Former Chelsea development squad manager Adi Viveash explained how Mason Mount impressed former manager Antonio Conte.
The 21-year-old had never been included in Chelsea senior team prior to Frank Lampard’s appointment as Chelsea manager.
But according to Viveash who was in charge of Chelsea U23 team, Mount took Conte’s attention in 2016.
Mount was only 17 years old then when he demonstrated his first-team credentials to not only Conte but also several first-team members.
In November 2016, some senior members have made themselves available for a U23 match against Southampton at Cobham, including John Terry, Cesc Fabregas, Kurt Zouma and Michy Batshuayi.
Conte and his former assistant Steve Holland were present on the sidelines on that day and they watched Mount’s 70-minute display in the 3-2 victory.
Viveash told the BBC: “You could see the first-team players trusted him because he’s so good on the ball.
“The first thing you notice is that they’re not afraid to give it him all the time.
“I know Antonio was very impressed with him after that game. That was probably a moment the recognition got gained. They started to ask for him if they needed a midfield player. It made an impression on them.”
Unfortunately for Mount, there was huge competition for the midfield spots that season.
Conte’s 3-4-3 system means the likes of Cesc Fabregas, N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathaniel Chalobah were all competing for just two spots in the midfield.
Mount went to Vitesse Arnhem on a loan spell in Conte’s second season, where he bagged 14 goals and nine assists in the Eredivisie and was named in the Team of the Season.
The following season he had another loan spell at Derby County under Lampard and we know where it led to.