It was looking like it would be yet another summer saga but Manchester United officially announced the signing of Mason Mount from Chelsea yesterday.
United had seen three of their bids rejected by the Blues before they finally secured the England international‘s signature.
Where Mount will play
“I’ve always seen myself as a midfielder, a no.8 that can obviously get forward, attack, try and score goals, create goals. But also be able to do the other side as well and defend and help the team when we’re under pressure.
“And that’s obviously a massive focus of mine, being able to come here and and help the boys in that situation. And I know what I can bring to this team.”
This effectively means that Ten Hag has seen his midfielders struggle due to the sheer volume of games and brought in someone who can inject creativity while also doing his share of the dirty work.
Christian Eriksen started the season strongly and his ethereal passing was a joy to watch at times but he looked leggy post his injury comeback and Mount’s capture will allow the manager to use him less frequently but more potently.
But his passing was woeful at times and even though he enjoyed his best-ever United season in terms of goals, Mount is a much more effective presence in both areas.
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As for Van de Beek, his versatility meant he can play as the No 8 and in the attacking midfield role but with Mount’s arrival, he simply has no role left.
Ten Hag tried to bring out the best in his protégé but nothing worked and it is time for the midfielder to ply his trade elsewhere.
The other positive aspect about the England star is his winning mentality, something he can add to the squad which already has the serial winners like Casemiro and Raphael Varane.
“I mean, you look at the players that are in midfield and it’s vastly experienced of obviously winning major trophies and there are quality players. And being able to kind of learn from them as well and, and bringing my style into the team, that’s what it’s all about.”