There was a lot of joy among Manchester United supporters when the club announced that Mason Mount, the blue-eyed boy of Chelsea fans, would be their first signing of the summer transfer window.
It was just not a big-name signing that the club was used to procuring during the Ed Woodward era, this was a player who suited the manager’s style and was brought in for a specific purpose.
The gap in midfield was there for all to see with Christian Eriksen unable to cope with the volume of games and the intensity of certain matches while Fred was deemed not good enough for the club.
Mount underwhelmed at OT
Due to arriving so early, the England international has managed to get a lot of minutes in pre-season, playing in all the games and lasting the entire 90 minutes against RC Lens on Saturday.
Barring any injuries or aberrations, Erik ten Hag is almost certain to start the 24-year-old against Wolverhampton Wanderers in their Premier League opener.
While there is no point in criticising a player who has just arrived at the club and is still getting used to the manager’s ways, Mount underwhelmed against the Ligue 1 side.
His pressing off the ball and hard work will be appreciated by the Old Trafford faithful and by his new boss but what the club needs is a creative presence capable of chipping in with key goals at crucial junctures, like he used to do at Chelsea.
Mount ended up missing a gilt-edged chance against Lens with an open goal at his mercy after he was expertly found by Alejandro Garancho.
He has been guilty of missing chances in other games as well but the manager will be happy he is getting into dangerous areas.
But the problem of the team has been scoring goals and Mount needs to get his act together in this regard soon.
ETH will be expecting more from Mount
The manager wants a more attacking approach from his players and Mount was playing almost like a No 10 at times but hardly got the ball in dangerous areas.
He had only 38 touches of the ball and finished the game with a passing rate of only 86 per cent. None of his crosses nor his long balls found their mark while he failed to produce a key pass as well.
He was given the joint third-lowest match rating by Sofascore and the lowest among midfielders as he ended the game without a shot on target or a dribble completed.
He won three of his five ground duels while losing possession eight times. This was not an alarming performance by any chance but the midfielder needs to buckle up and start producing when the season starts.