Mason Mount should win award over Foden, Salah and Rice after Chelsea success

Surely there can’t be anyone who tops what Mason Mount has achieved this calendar year.

At just 22, it’s astonishing to think what heights are in store for the Chelsea and England midfielder.

It’s been a pretty good year so far for a lad who has come through the academy at Stamford Bridge.

If ever there was a need to put someone forward to promote the virtues of nurturing young talent, Mount would surely be the man. Not that he’s for sale, but if he was, it would take a record-busting fee to land him.

And before Man City fans throw their arms into the air in indignation or Liverpool fans' jaws drop, let’s deal in hard, stone-cold facts.

Mount has had an incredible year culminating only this week in him being named 19th in the Ballon d'Or. So what? some may say. So what? Here’s the whys and wherefores of why Mason, for me, is clearly top of the Mount.

Chelsea couldn’t overhaul City for the Premier League title, but as they go into 2022 you wouldn’t bet against it happening this time around.

That remains to be seen but there are plenty of pointers to suggest that Thomas Tuchel’s men can remain top of the pile.

Back in May, Mount’s contribution to Chelsea’s cause was acknowledged by him picking up the Fans’ Player of the Year award.

Chelsea got themselves to the FA Cup final but ended up disappointed as Leicester toppled them.

Is Mason Mount your footballer of the year? Have your say here

But a season in which Mount clocked up 69 appearances for club and country culminated in him laying on a defence-splitting pass for Kai Havertz to sink City in the Champions League final in Porto.

While the big jug-eared cup eluded City yet again, Mount and his men made Chelsea champions of Europe for a second time.

In July he was one of England’s key players as Gareth Southgate’s men got to the European Championship final only to lose to Italy on penalties.

So far this season he’s interrupted starring roles for Chelsea to help England through to comfortable qualification for the Qatar World Cup.

There’s a reasonable argument that he could weigh in with more goals, but that’s not an integral part of his role at the Bridge.

Strangely, all three of his goals this season have come in one game – a hat-trick in the 7-0 destruction of Norwich in October.

Just as a side issue, he was part of the Chelsea team that hammered Juventus 4-0 in the Champions League last month – a result which had many proclaiming Tuchel’s side as the best in the world.

All that, and still only 22 – Mount’s career has barely started.

It’s all happening so fast for him. As he acknowledged on receiving his Ballon d’Or rating.

Mount smiled: “To see my name up there alongside names I’ve looked up to all my life is just crazy – Lionel Messi in particular.”

That could be only the start of it for the guy with the world quite literally at his feet.

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