Paolo Di Canio had some kind words to say about Mason Mount ahead of the Champions League tie between Chelsea and Real Madrid yesterday.

Speaking live on Sky Italia, the West Ham United legend wanted to highlight Mount’s importance for the Blues despite his youthful age.

“He’s born in 1999 and it seems normal to us because it’s in another league,” said Di Canio.

Real Madrid v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Leg One
(Photo by Oscar J. Barroso / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images)

“He plays in the Champions League and in the Premier League naturally and is decisive.

“We are not talking about an absolute phenomenon, but he is crucial. And three years ago, he was playing in the Championship.”

Mount’s meteoric rise over the past two seasons has been quite extraordinary.

The 22-year-old made his 100th Chelsea appearance in last night’s 1-1 draw with Madrid.

Real Madrid v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Leg One
(Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Just 625 days ago, he was making his senior Blues debut in a 4-0 Premier League loss to Manchester United.

Before that, he was featuring for Derby County in the Championship, having spent a year on loan with Vitesse Arnhem.

His growth from promising talent to a genuine world-class article is something to be admired.

He demonstrated his levels by generally outshining Luka Modric in Tuesday’s European tie, a player Mount admitted to looking up to when he was younger (Goal).   

Real Madrid v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Leg One
(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

 Nobody in the Chelsea squad can match his number of appearances since he arrived on the scene in 2019.

Currently on 47 club games for the campaign, the England international is adored by any manager he’s played under.

Frank Lampard absolutely loved him, a feeling shared by Gareth Southgate and now Thomas Tuchel.

Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League
(Photo by Chelsea Football Club/Getty Images)

The German coach dropped Mount for his maiden match in charge of Chelsea, a mistake he has quickly rectified.

Only away to Barnsley in the FA Cup has Tuchel not called upon the Blues golden boy.

Yesterday’s clash with Madrid just demonstrated that Mount is ready to rub shoulders with Europe’s elite on a regular basis.   

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