To say that Mason Mount’s marquee move to Manchester United hasn’t gone to plan so far would be an understatement.
Either he hasn’t played due to injuries, or he’s made a strong case to not be played when he has appeared in bad form.
It has once again brought focus to United’s planning, or lack of it when going after players.
Frank Lampard, the manager credited with bringing through Mount successfully at Chelsea and a long-time admirer, has questioned the same while talking to Sky Bet’s Stick to Football podcast.
Lampard said that he can’t see a plan of how United intend to use Mount, especially because Bruno Fernandes is the undisputed starter in the team.
While Mount has been deployed as one of the two central midfielders, or on the wing when he has played, Lampard revealed that the player is at his best as the No 10.
It has become clear too, as Mount lacks the pace to succeed on the wings in Erik ten Hag’s system and lacks the defensive positioning to succeed as an out-and-out central midfielder.
Unfortunately for him, and United’s lack of planning is again the focus here, Mount hasn’t been deployed at his favoured role because it simply doesn’t exist at United.
Ten Hag plays with a vertical passer in the No. 10 position in Fernandes and Mount is a player who’s not cut from the same cloth.
He is a disruptor off the ball and almost a shadow striker when in possession where he starts further ahead and like Dele Alli used to do under Pochettino at Tottenham, ghosts into the box to create overloads.
Injuries causing a lack of continuity have been the one major mitigating factor for his failure at United so far.
However, it is also a systemic issue which arguably puts a ceiling on how successful Mount can actually be at Old Trafford.