TCC View: Ashley Cole was proven exactly right about Chelsea talent last night

Ashley Cole certainly knows a thing or two when it comes to discussing Chelsea and England matters.

The former Blues and Three Lions left-back created an unrivalled legacy for club and country.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

After hanging up his iconic boots, Cole turned to coaching and also dipped his toes into the pool of punditry.

Being paid to give your opinion about the sport you love sounds like a dream job for many football fans.

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As it turns out, Cole is very good at giving his view on the industry he left-behind in 2019.

But one reflection he gave recently certainly raised a few eyebrows.  

Speaking on BBC Sport before Chelsea’s FA Cup tie with Sheffield, he made a bold statement about one member of Thomas Tuchel’s squad.

Cole said: “I think he’s the number one on Gareth Southgate’s team sheet going into World Cup or Euros. He has to play. For me he is the best one.”

He was, of course, talking about Mason Mount.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Few could argue that the 22-year-old is set to play a massive part at this summer’s European Championships.

Yet, to suggest he shall be the first name on Southgate’s team sheet was a brave move.

What about captain Harry Kane? Raheem Sterling? Harry Maguire? Declan Rice? All players who will believe they are shoe-in to start at the next major tournament.

However, Mount proved Cole’s prophecy was absolutely spot on with a performance that epitomised why he is Southgate’s golden child.

Chelsea’s midfielder started in England’s 5-0 World Cup qualifying win over San Marino last night.

Photo by Carl Recine – Pool/Getty Images

His contribution only lasted until half time, where he was rested at the interval.

Those 45 minutes were more than enough to showcase his talents.

He was a dictator and a playmaker. He set the tempo for England’s attacks. He glided across the pitch into pockets that are undefendable.

Mount was everything that was good about the Three Lions victory, even if it was made easy by their lesser opposition.

Photo by Michael Regan – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Of the four names previously mentioned, only Sterling featured on the night.

Kane, Maguire and Rice all remained firmly on the bench, watching on whilst Mount weaved his magic under the Wembley arch.

It was a sign of just how much Southgate appreciates the Chelsea prodigy. Of all the positions, his was the one that could not be replaced.

With Mount laying down another marker, Cole can quietly congratulate himself for calling it before anyone else.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.