Mason Mount will be spending the 2018/19 season on loan at Derby County.
The 19-year-old midfielder, who is an FA Youth Cup-winning captain, a UEFA Youth League winner and a European champion with England Under-19s, will be managed at Derby by Frank Lampard and his former youth team manager at Chelsea, Jody Morris.
Last season, Mount was on loan in the Netherlands at Vitesse where he made a big impact, scoring the goals that helped them qualify for the Europa League. He was named their Player of the Year and was invited to train with the England squad as they began their preparations for the World Cup.
Before he left for his loan in the East Midlands, the official Chelsea website caught up with Mount to find out all about what has been a 2018 to remember…
What was it like training with England at the end of the season?
It was an unreal experience. To be around the preparations for the World Cup and to be training with the big players was an experience that will stay with me for a long time. Hopefully in the years to come I can get in the team.
How did you find out you would be involved?
It was really late at night, about 11.30pm, and I was in bed. I got a call from my England Under-19s manager, and I didn’t answer it because it was really late and I was sleeping.
I was due to be going away to Spain with the Under-19s to prepare for the Euros so I phoned my England manager back and he said he had been speaking to Gareth Southgate and he wanted me to go and train with the senior team for a couple of days. I was speechless!
Who helped you when you were there?
I have spoken to Steve Holland before, but not Gareth. He welcomed me into the group, as did all the players. I know Ruben, and Nathaniel Chalobah was there at the time I was there. I was welcomed very well by everyone and I loved the training.
You got the chance to go to Russia at the beginning of the World Cup, too. What happened there?
I went to Russia with Nike. We did a lot of stuff around some new things, and they took us to the first England game. That was just…unreal. The atmosphere around the game, being at my first ever World Cup game, and obviously we won as well.
We also went to the BBC studio. Alan Shearer took us around and I did some presenting on the TV! I stepped up to the plate when the other two guys I was with, Ryan Sessegnon and Phil Foden, were hiding. They bottled it, so I said I would do it! I loved it, it was so fun.
You had an amazing final few weeks of the season, won Vitesse’s Player of the Year, trained with England. It must be hard to keep your feet on the ground at the moment…
No, I don’t think so. As a kid my mum brought me up to be very grounded. I don’t really let anything get to my head. You have just got to keep playing football and doing your best on the pitch. That’s what I am focusing on.
We spoke to you in January and you had scored four goals. You finished the season with 10 more, including seven in your last six appearances. What happened?
Maybe I was a bit lucky! Every shot I had was going in – my last seven shots I had, they all went in! You can have those times in football. I was buzzing with that.
You scored a hat-trick against ADO Den Haag, too, and they were three great goals…
I was very happy with that. It was my first professional hat-trick. It came at quite a big time because it was the first play-off game and it was away from home. It was good to step up and be a big player in the team and affect the game.
During the season you scored a number of free-kicks, and also created goals from set-pieces…
I always try to work on that every day in training. It’s a big part of my game. From a young age I have always been taking free-kicks and corners. It’s something I want to keep working on. Set-pieces are a big opportunity to score a goal, and I try and take that opportunity.
You must have been proud to win Vitesse’s Player of the Year award?
I was quite surprised because there were players that had played more than me and scored more goals than me. I think I had a connection with the fans, with me being a young player coming into their team and just wanting to work hard and doing the best I could.
I loved playing in front of the fans. For them to be singing my name was something I had never experienced before. I definitely had a good connection with the fans and they helped me a lot.
Finally, another season is around the corner, one you will spend on loan at Derby. What are you aiming to achieve from it?
I need to continue playing games, getting as many minutes as I can, especially after the season I had. I need to keep improving and that is by being on the pitch, that is the main thing.