Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount could play a significant role under Mauricio Pochettino, who is reportedly the leading candidate to take over at Stamford Bridge next season.
It is hardly a secret that Pochettino‘s managing style is heavily influenced by Marcelo Bielsa, and both managers are known for their intense pressing.
Former Southampton striker Dani Osvaldo described life under the Argentinean as a player years ago.
“He makes you suffer like a dog, and at the time you hate him for it,” said the former Italy international at the time (via talkSPORT).
“But by the Sunday, you’re grateful, because it works.”
Pochettino stuck with his high-pressing philosophy at Tottenham Hotspur and even Paris Saint-Germain.
Similar to others who also play this style, the Argentinean also believes attackers are the first form of defence.
This did not work well at PSG because he could not deal with the egos of the star players in the squad.
“You need to adapt constantly because there was too much greatness,” Pochettino admitted last November when speaking about his spell in France (via ESPN).
“For Barcelona to have [Lionel] Messi or for Real Madrid to count on Cristiano [Ronaldo] is a blessing.
“But when you put too many players on the pitch who all need their place and to be No. 1, there can be confusion.”
This could prove problematic at Chelsea, too, but having to deal with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Mykhailo Mudryk would likely be easier compared to Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
This is where Mount could fit into Pochettino’s plan.
The versatile midfielder is known for his pressing and defensive ability in the final third.
There is uncertainty over Mount’s future at the club due to his contract situation, but if Pochettino is to be appointed, it will likely increase the possibility that the midfielder will stay.
Mount has made the joint-most tackles (11) in the Premier League for Chelsea this season and fourth-most in the team per 90 minutes.
Conor Gallagher is an asset to a high-pressing team, too, although playmaking-wise, he is not good as Mount, who has had more shot-creating actions than any Chelsea player this season.
It is no surprise that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who play counter-pressing football, has made Mount their priority summer target, according to Fabrizio Romano.