Several of Chelsea’s Academy products have established themselves in Frank Lampard’s team this season but one thing they are certainly not doing is forgetting their roots.
That is according to Mason Mount who is one of the young Blues who has helped power the team up to third place in the Premier League table. The 20-year-old is our most-used outfielder in the league campaign so far having started all 12 games. The most recent of those was on Saturday when the Blues’ patience and overall quality paid off in the end in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, with another product, Tammy Abraham, the one to break the deadlock with his 10th Premier League goal of the season.
For those juniors now looking to follow in the footsteps of Mount and Abraham, not to mention Fikayo Tomori, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James, there was success on Saturday too with our Under-18s winning 5-3 away at Tottenham.
‘Even before the [Palace] game we were looking at the Under-18s score against Tottenham, we were all talking about it and they were 4-0 up after 20-something minutes,’ Mount revealed when talking after our Premier League success.
‘We’re focused on our game, but we’re looking at all the Academy boys and what they’re doing because we were there not that long ago.
‘We always stay in contact with everyone and it feels like a proper club. We’re so close together, all the boys in the Academy and our young players in the first team, it’s really solid.
‘At the beginning of the season we knew what we had in the squad,’ Mount says when reflecting on his own involvement so far and the team’s current good form. ‘We knew the quality and that the young players would be coming through and trying to make the step up to be big players in the team.
‘We knew we had the quality, so we always set goals of being up near the top of the table. That was always our target. We’re doing very well at the moment, getting that momentum going, and that’s all you can ask for really.
‘It means so much to us young boys to come through and have the belief and support from all the fans.
‘We give all we have to win the games and to be playing well, because we want to win games for the fans. To have them behind us gives us that extra boost in games, to keep going. We all have so much passion for the game and to play for Chelsea. We’ve been through the Academy, we know what it’s like to step up and have that passion throughout and that drive to want to play for the badge.’
Reece James is the latest to be given a first Premier League start when he was drafted in at right-back against Palace, affording a rare rest for Cesar Azpilicueta.
‘The manager is giving us the chance to step up and prove we’re ready,’ said Mount.
‘He’s given the chance to me, Tammy, Fikayo, Reece on Saturday. It’s not that you’re given it, you have to work for it in training and show him that you’re ready to play. When that day comes, you need to show you’re ready and step up.
‘Reece is a very quiet boy. I’ve known him for a very, very long time, since eight or nine years old at the Academy here. He’s a very good boy, always works hard, and he’s got tremendous qualities. He’s going to be a brilliant player for us now and in the future as well.
‘I call him the Beast, because he’s so quick, strong and powerful. You don’t want to get too close to him in training because he’ll get you off the ball, so you try to stay away from him. We all have a joke and a laugh, me, Tammy, Fikayo, Cal, Reece. We’ve all been together from a very young age so we know the ins and outs of all of us.’