Although Mason Mount did not provide any assists or score goals in his first 45 minutes wearing the Manchester United jersey, he brought a sense of optimism to the Red Devils fans in Manchester through his style of play, his efforts to integrate, adapt, and the promise of a breakthrough in future performances.
While stars like Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, Christian Eriksen, and Marcus Rashford have yet to return to training, all the attention in Manchester United’s first preseason match (a 2-0 win against Leeds) was focused on the newcomer, Mount. The expectations from the Red Devils fans for the former Chelsea player were very high.
In response, the Chelsea newcomer combined well with the young squad, displaying an energetic and dynamic performance both in defense and attack. In the 45 minutes on the field, Mount was involved in every set-piece situation and executed an impressive lob from a distance of 30 meters. For Ten Hag, Mount’s dynamism was exactly what he was pleased with, and he desires to see this quality from the former Chelsea star throughout the long journey ahead.
Specifically, in the 11th minute, while pressuring the opponent’s half, Mount forced Jeremiah Mullen to lose the ball near the center of the field. The former Chelsea midfielder then dribbled for a few steps before executing an impressive lob from approximately 30 meters away. Although the ball narrowly missed the crossbar of goalkeeper Kristoffer Klaesson, Mount still received applause from the audience at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo.
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Mount’s neat execution showcased his keen observation skills (noticing the high position of Leeds’ goalkeeper) and quick and decisive decision-making (the lob) in an effort to make a difference in the match. Just one minute earlier, a beautiful through pass from number 7 opened up a fast and dangerous counter-attack from Manchester United, but unfortunately, the young Red Devils forwards failed to convert it into a goal. Hannibal Mejbri’s final shot was blocked by goalkeeper Klaesson, and Amad Diallo’s subsequent follow-up shot was unsuccessful.
Ten Hag himself emphasized that he highly valued Mount’s debut and expects more from this newcomer in future matches. “Mason? Oh, he’s fantastic. He has incredible skills, and I believe Man UTD will derive much joy from Mason. The club truly needs players who are proficient in set-pieces like him.”
“In the new season, I hope we will experience a lot of joy from Mason’s free-kicks. He will undoubtedly contribute greatly to our upcoming performances,” the Dutch coach emphasized, praising the efforts made by his new protégé at his debut.
In addition to his offensive contributions, maintaining the rhythm, connecting plays, and distributing the ball, Mount also made a few retreats to support the defense. After the match, Coach Ten Hag also emphasized that he expects more from Mount in this role in upcoming matches, especially when Manchester United enters official competitions.
“I believe Mason will contribute to Manchester United’s success because he is a quality player. Furthermore, when playing in midfield, you need to both attack and defend. I really hope that Mason will bring dynamism to our style of play. We need more dynamism in the midfield area. That’s what Man United lacked last season,” Ten Hag added on MUTV.
Of course, these are just 45 minutes of a friendly match. It is still too early and lacks a basis to evaluate Mount’s role and influence at the club. However, we can already recognize the commendable efforts of the former Chelsea midfielder in terms of integration, adaptation, and providing positive signals for the team at Old Trafford.
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