Erik Ten Hag is reportedly monitoring the contract situation of Mason Mount, with plans to make a shock move for the Chelsea midfielder.
What’s the word?
That’s according to Gary Stonehouse, who writes in The Sun that due to the impending takeover at Chelsea, contract talks for Mount have stalled.
Ten Hag is reportedly “well aware” of the situation and they have already registered an interest within the players’ camp.
Liverpool and Manchester City have also supposedly made “discreet enquiries” for the 23-year-old, but it appears that Manchester United are the most likely to make a move.
Mount unsuited to a Ten Hag team
Whilst Mason Mount has impressed since Lampard brought him into the first team set up at Chelsea, he lacks the exceptional qualities to perform outside of a highly specific Tuchel system.
If Ten Hag were to fork out what would be a hefty sum for the England international, it would prove poor value for what United would actually get out of the deal and could add to the ever-growing list of transfer flops at Old Trafford.
Mount this season has often played off the left in a front three, which is a position Jadon Sancho also occupies. However, the Blues’ front three differ greatly due to their 3-4-3 system.
It allows the attacking wingers to drift and come inside, without having to do a great deal of defensive work and allowing the full-backs to maintain the team’s width.
This means the Portsmouth-born midfielder, once dubbed the “full package” by Thomas Tuchel, often operates much further up the pitch than the average winger in a 4-3-3 for example, which could explain how he gets the opportunity for so many goal contributions.
Ten Hag has been known to favour the latter formation, and the £88k-per-week star would suffer significantly from this change in the system.
Mount managed 13 goal contributions under Lampard’s 4-3-3 system during the 2019/20 season, which is not a bad return but would not demand the money United would have to pay, and the inevitably astronomical wages he would demand.
The Red Devils currently possess a lot of players of this ilk, and could do without another player whose standout attribute is ‘hard working’.
To further prove the point, wingers in a 4-3-3 are encouraged to drive forward with the ball and beat opponents, yet Mount averages just 0.78 dribbles completed per 90, despite being lauded as “magic” by journalist Nizaar Kinsella.
When compared to the 2.24 per 90 that Sancho offers, it is clear who will be more favourable to Ten Hag’s system, and why he should avoid another big Old Trafford pay-out on a star that doesn’t fit the mould.
In other news, Manchester United have been linked with a central midfield magician. Find out who here.