Jose Mourinho explained he had initial concerns when Mason Mount broke through at Chelsea under Frank Lampard.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Mourinho was discussing all things England ahead of their European Championship competition.
Mount’s name inevitably cropped up, having rightly earned his place within Gareth Southgate’s squad.
The 22-year-old has gone from strength to strength ever since his senior Blues debut back in 2019.
Lampard intrusted the young midfielder where many managers might have opted for more experience.
Chelsea are huge beneficiaries of this act of faith. Southgate will hope to reap the same rewards this summer.
Mourinho a Mount fan
Mourinho wanted to pay homage to Lampard for recognising Mount’s abilities and throwing him into the world’s glare.
“Last season (2019/20), he (Lampard) starts the season and puts everything on Mount,” said the former Blues manager.
“Even myself, when I saw Mount for the first time- I was commenting for television- I was saying ‘I like this kid Mount but I don’t think he is ready.’”
“Frank went with him, gave him everything to explode and I think the kid has an incredible football brain. I like this very much.”
From humble beginnings
It’s almost inconceivable to think that Mount had never previously been capped by England’s first team before he broke his Chelsea duct.
But he was only 20 at the time, had just spent the season on loan with Derby County, and was largely unknown within the sporting community.
Now everybody is talking about the Blues no.19, tipping him to take over Europe as one of the game’s most talented players.
‘Ere we go Euros
To do that, Mount must impress on the international stage, something he is yet to tackle.
Champions League winner he may be, but tournament life is a different challenge altogether.
He could potentially be facing some of his club teammates, who themselves are aiming for Euros glory.
This next month could establish the Chelsea midfielder amongst football’s true modern elite.