Gus Poyet has hailed Mason Mount and says three other Chelsea players can’t compete with the ‘special’ England midfielder.
Mount has scored 20 goals and made 16 assists in 95 Premier League games, establishing himself as an important player for Chelsea and England over the past few years.
The midfielder broke into the team under Frank Lampard but has continued to impress under current manager Thomas Tuchel, scoring in last year’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid and bagging his first hat-trick last October.
Poyet says Mount is a player who ‘makes special things happen’ and believes he is above Chelsea teammates Christian Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi and Tim Werner.
‘As far as positives go, without a doubt Chelsea are the best team in the division behind the top two, and I’m confident they’re going to get better and better in the coming years,’ Poyet told Ladbrokes.
‘They boast many different kinds of players, but if I’m being honest, right now, when Mason Mount isn’t at his best – or isn’t playing – Chelsea miss creativity.
‘They’re a little more predictable when Mount’s not on his game. You know what Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tim Werner; you know what these players are going to do, and you can prepare better for those names.
‘But Mount is the kind of player who makes special things happen. His timing, understanding, positioning, is so good, he’s hard to play against.
‘Because of the quantity of games and the changes that Thomas Tuchel makes, he doesn’t have that option to play Mount every week, and so every time he doesn’t feature, that creativity is gone.
‘I’d normally expect Kai Havertz to share some of that responsibility with Mason, but because of the problems with Romelu Lukaku, Havertz is playing up-front, where we don’t really get to see him at his best.’
After winning the Champions League last campaign and signing Romelu Lukaku in a club-record transfer deal, the Blues were expected to challenge for the Premier League title this season.
Tuchel’s side made a good start to the season but fell out of contention over the festive period and are now 16 points behind leaders Man City.
On Chelsea’s disappointing title challenge, Poyet added: ‘Chelsea have no one to blame but themselves; they’re Champions League winners and just spent £90m on a striker so they should be challenging for the title.
‘My opinion on Chelsea hasn’t changed; I thought at the beginning of the season that they needed to be title contenders.
‘When you are the Champions League winners, and you then go and sign a striker for £90m, that means you need to challenge for the title – it’s really simple.
‘We can’t make excuses; we can’t blame COVID, injuries or anything… Chelsea needed to be title contenders this year – that’s the bottom line.
‘It’s because of Chelsea; they cannot blame anyone. Look, they haven’t lost too many games, but their issue has been too many draws, and that’s why they’re so far behind Manchester City and Liverpool.’