Frank Lampard has praised “incredible” Mason Mount and recognises elements of himself in the Chelsea midfielder.
Chelsea boss Lampard admitted he would have been equally upset at being substituted at half time as Mount was in Sunday’s FA Cup tie at Leicester.
But Lampard offered a glowing assessment of the 21-year-old, who has been one of the stand out players in Chelsea’s impressive season.
Lampard said: “I rely on Mason a lot. I did at Derby, I do at Chelsea.
“He brings so much to the team in his work ethic and the way he can start the press in midfield, and his quality on the ball which is only going to get better and it’s already at a really high level.
“Mason wouldn’t have been happy coming off at half-time, I know that because he’s a bit like myself.
“If there is one comparison I could make, I know that when he’s not playing he’d not be happy and when he comes off he won’t be happy.
“But it was certainly a moment that he should not be happy and then straight back to it afterwards because he knows how much I trust in him. He works brilliantly every day.”
Mount is close friends with West Ham ’s Declan Rice and the pair both got a telling off early on in lockdown when they were pictured having a kickabout in March.
But Lampard revealed he “had the shortest word possible” with Mount and also said he hopes he gets one over on his big pal on Wednesday night.
Lampard said: “I saw Mason in a couple of places get compared to players who went out and partied, stayed out all night and did different things.
“I’m not wanting to angle on that one but what I wanted to say on Mason was very innocently, and, as you say, naively, and wrong at the time and he very much quickly held his hands up to that.
“But he was kicking a ball about and that’s so typical of Mason and how he lives his life. So I had the shortest ever conversation with Mason. To say he was pretty apologetic and said he got it wrong straight away and we moved on. No problem at all.”
Mount will come up against his pal Rice on Wednesday night in Chelsea’s Premier League clash against the Hammers.
And Lampard said: “There is only one thing I will ask of Mason – and from my point of view that is obviously all I care about going into this one.
“He texts Declan tonight, he smiles at him in the tunnel or whatever it is, but if and when they go up against each other he has try to beat him in every individual battle that he possibly can.
“And sensing Declan Rice’s character, I am sensing they will both be like-minded on that one.”
Lampard’s Chelsea have come flying out of the blocks after the restart, winning three games as they strengthened their push for a top-four place and also reached the FA Cup semi finals.
Both players and the manager almost used the three months to catch their breath in what has been a difficult first season in charge for Lampard, but it looks like ending up being a truly memorable campaign.
Lampard added: “I’m not going to get excited about three results, meaning that my reflections and reactions to it were this great masterpiece of work.
“I will always keep reflecting and always keep trying to improve moving forward.
“I have felt a real steeliness within the group and they showed that in week one.
“Again, I hate to jump the gun because we’ve got so many big games coming up but we must never think we’ve cracked it. The next five or six weeks are going to be huge for the club.”
Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.