'Don't think they're needed': Paul Merson says he wouldn't pick Chelsea player to start for England vs Iran

Paul Merson wouldn’t pick Chelsea’s Mason Mount to start for England against Iran next week.

England begin their World Cup tournament on Monday against Iran in Doha, Qatar.

Gareth Southgate’s 26-man Three Lions squad is stacked with talent, especially when you check out some of the midfield and forward options.

Mount has 32 senior international caps, making him the 12th most experienced player in the England squad.

The 23-year-old attacking midfielder doesn’t go into the tournament in peak form, with Micah Richards recently highlighting his inconsistency this season.

However, he’s someone that can perform in the big moments, just ask Chelsea fans about the Champions League final in Porto.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Mason Mount against Iran

Pundit Paul Merson has said he wouldn’t actually choose Mount in the starting line-up against Iran in a couple of days time.

“I worry about this game because Iran have a brilliant coach in Carlos Queiroz, who will set up his team to nullify our attacking threat. Mason Mount and [Kieran] Trippier will certainly play in other matches but I don’t think they’re needed in this game,” Merson wrote for the Daily Star.

In our view, Newcastle’s right-back Trippier will make the England XI for the opening group stage match.

As for Mount, his spot in the starting team feels more uncertain.

He did lose his starting position in the most recent England games, which were Nations League fixtures back in September. He scored coming off the bench against Germany, though.

Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Southgate can’t use the same 11 players for every minute of the tournament, something which is lost on a lot of people when picking their preferred XI.

Mount will surely get some kind of opportunity in the group stages, whether that be from the bench or in the starting XI.

If he brings his best creativity and energy to the pitch, there’s no reason why he can’t force his way back into Southgate’s preferred team.

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Dom is a Chelsea supporter who has worked in online publishing for more than six years. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016, he now writes exclusively for The Chelsea Chronicle covering news, analysis and match coverage. He enjoys the dream position of writing about his boyhood club, which seems to be involved in more drama every single day than an episode of The Bill. Aside from his love for Chelsea, he supports and follows the England cricket team. He also fancies himself as the Sunday League version of Michael Essien.