Darren Bent was complimentary of Mason Mount’s performance for England yesterday, despite not wanting the Chelsea player to start.
Speaking on talkSPORT after Gareth Southgate’s side smashed six past Iran at the World Cup, Bent gave a brief mention to Mount’s contribution.
The 23-year-old was an unsung hero of the Three Lions’ mauling in Qatar yesterday afternoon.
Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling stole the plaudits for scoring, assisting and generally dazzling.
But the work of their energetic and creative colleague should not be understated.
Mount magic for England
Mount started as a number eight behind the front line, and slightly ahead of Bellingham and Declan Rice.
This gave him the freedom to roam all across the pitch, picking up clever pockets in-between Iran’s midfield and defence.
They simply could not contain the Chelsea forward’s movement, both in out and off possession.
He didn’t score or set up a goal directly, but his influence on the fixture deserves huge credit.
“The only place I probably would’ve changed was Mount for (Phil) Foden. Even he played well, Mason Mount,” said Bent when asked about England’s initial XI.
Pretty much all of the debate leading up to England’s tournament opener was the formation Southgate would choose, and thus the personnel picked to deliver it.
Mount was one of the names heavily argued both for and against to start.
Chelsea’s academy graduate has the undeniable faith of his international manager, even if some believe there are better technical players like Foden.
Yet, the Manchester City starlet had to watch on from the bench as his fellow young compatriot carved open Iran.
Foden did eventually replace Mount with 20 minutes remaining.
You may have to get used to filling Mases’ shoes, Phil.