Mason Mount can be world-class: Ashley Cole
Former Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole believes young Blues midfielder Mason Mount can develop into a world-class player.
The 20-year-old scored his first goal for his boyhood club last Sunday, dispossessing Leicester City's Wilfred Ndidi and coolly finishing past Kasper Schmeichel to give Chelsea a seventh-minute lead in a match which finished 1-1.
It was a fitting riposte to former Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who criticised the young Englishman after the 4-0 opening-day loss to Manchester United, saying: "You look to the performance of Mason Mount... for matches of this dimension, you need a little bit more."
Fast-forward one week and Cole offered a more positive appraisal of Mount's performance at Stamford Bridge.
He said on Sky Sports: "Mount is very mature for his age. He's got a good head on his shoulders and he wants to improve all the time and he will do because he's willing to listen.
"He can play anywhere in the midfield, right, left, holding because his range of passing is so good.
"He needs to know when to slow the game down, everything doesn't have to be 100 miles per hour. He can potentially be world-class, but he obviously has a lot to learn."
Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp, too, was impressed with Mount, writing in his Daily Mail column: "Watching Chelsea face Leicester, it felt like we were watching the future of English football.
"Mason Mount, 20, and James Maddison, 22, were the two best players on the pitch. They showed exactly what they are all about with their pressing and attack-mindedness.
"If I were (England manager) Gareth Southgate, I would be thrilled."
Mount scored 11 goals under Blues boss Frank Lampard at Derby County last season, and former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill believes it is crucial that the 20-year-old has a manager who believes in him.
He wrote in his BBC column: "He is making the step up to the Premier League, which is massive, but he has one huge advantage - a manager who believes in him... It's very early days but, if he plays like this, he will play a lot for Chelsea - Lampard trusts him."