England boss Gareth Southgate said “intelligent” Chelsea star Mason Mount can adapt to playing in a deeper midfield position for the Three Lions.

The 22-year-old old has mostly played in an advanced midfield roles for both Chelsea and England.

In Thomas Tuchel’s 3-4-3 system, Mount usually operates in one of the two inside forwards roles behind the striker.

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The final 20 minutes in the FA Cup win over Sheffield United last week was the first time that Mount had to play in a central midfield role under thew new manager.

While for England, Mount already played in a similar role alongside his best mate Declan Rice in the 4-0 win over Iceland in the Nations League last November.

Southgate insisted Mount’s intelligence will make adjusting to a deeper midfield role easier for him.

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“That deeper [midfield] position is one that Mason doesn’t really play at his club,” Southgate said in his press conference on Saturday.

“But I think it’s possible for him.

“He’s a very intelligent player, he can play as a No.4, No.8 or a No.10, and I think he would be able to adjust and adapt as required.

“There is no doubt that the balance of those two [Mount and Rice] is good.”

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Chronicle view

It is easy to see why Tuchel has not really used the England international in one deep midfield positions.

Mount’s ability to receive the ball in between opposition midfield and defensive lines has often been key to Chelsea’s attacking plans.

As Tuchel himself described it a couple of weeks ago, Mount has “offensive skills and power to break the lines with strong dribbling and shots”.

But N’Golo Kante and Jorginho’s injury problems means playing Mount alongside either Kovacic or Billy Gilmour might become an option.

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