Mason Mount continued to endear himself to the Chelsea supporters after the 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa despite not coming onto the pitch. The Englishman was left as an unused substitute when Graham Potter chased play in the second half, but was untouched.
It comes after a mid-term sacking for the Blues, who are usually first choice. Mount last played on February 26 and has missed action since with an ongoing lower abdominal issue. This was the first time for him in the team since the 2-0 loss to Tottenham, another game in which he was on the bench.
The time on the sideline also comes amid growing uncertainty about his future at Stamford Bridge. Mount’s contract expires in just over 12 months, when he will be able to leave the club for free. However, the club isn’t about to let him wear him out and an ultimatum to commit to his boyhood team or be sold this summer hangs in the balance.
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As a two-time Chelsea player of the season, Mount has been central to much of their success since his first-team debut in 2019, but he is also currently in his worst form since then. With just three goals this season, two in the reverse game against Villa in October, he has struggled to reach the heights of previous campaigns.
He’s far from alone in doing so, though, but Potter still chose to look elsewhere when he needed inspiration against stubborn opposition from Unai Emery. “With Mason, I felt like we were there in the game,” Potter explained afterwards.
“We did some attack subs and we wanted to see how it all landed. Mason comes back and he only had a couple of days of training.” The 47-year-old had previously ruled out Mount starting the match due to his lack of sharpness in the match, but Noni Madueke, N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic and Conor Gallagher all got the nod ahead of him this time around. .
Neither change made much of a difference, however, as the Blues couldn’t find a way past Emi Martinez despite going on 27 tries, the most scoreless for the Blues since 2014.
At full time, the feelings of the crowd, or what was left of it, became apparent as Potter and his players were once again booed for having received similar treatment in the first half. There were also chants of “fired in the morning” and “you don’t know what you’re doing” towards the former Brighton head coach.
However, there was no such response to Mount, who walked onto the pitch after the match and applauded the home fans. The 24-year-old took his time walking through the stands, appreciating his efforts.
The result may once again turn fans against their manager and the team, but the reaction to Mount’s gesture was positive online and in the stadium. One user wrote: “Mount didn’t play a minute today but he still came around and cheered for the fans. People might hate him but at least he really cares.”
Another noted that he did more than those on the pitch, saying: “He showed more heart for the club by doing that walk than anyone on the pitch today.”
While Mount remains a player who divides opinion within the fanbase’s reaction to those within Stamford Berid, he remains united towards him.
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