Chelsea boss Graham Potter explains exactly what makes Mount special

Graham Potter thinks he has discovered that indefinable something that makes Mason Mount so special to its managers. Love. Of course, there are giggles and raised eyebrows when the Chelsea manager suggests it.

“Easy now, let me answer,” says Potter. “I would say love for the game, love for his teammates, love for the club. I think he loves to play soccer. You can’t measure that.”

He had been asked why Chelsea’s winning percentage jumps when Mount is on the side. Not as much as he did in his great season, when Chelsea won 57 per cent of games with him and just 38 per cent without him.

But there is still considerable improvement in Chelsea’s fortunes when playing, which perhaps explains why Potter has made him the only outfield player to start every game of his own fledgling era before tonight’s clash at Brentford.

“It’s as much his personality as it is his football ability,” Potter said. “He wants to win, he wants to improve, he has an open mind, he is prepared to suffer, he is prepared to do the ugly side of the game and then he has the quality to be the winner of the game that was the weekend.

“But the other things are the ones that are under the water, under the iceberg. In terms of working hard for the team, cover up. In terms of pressure, in terms of defensive transition, ground coverage, he does all of that and he also has the quality that I think there is.

“That’s what you may not recognize or see with him, but he’s a great person, a great professional.”

With the England manager of a similar mindset, Mount is unlikely to get much rest when the World Cup begins, with international expectations as demanding as those of the clubs. However, Mount’s eligibility is sure to have a knock-on effect, and USA international Christian Pulisic has made just one start in the same period.

“You can imagine my focus is on Chelsea,” Potter said, “I understand that all players have ambitions and want to play for different reasons; for their families, races or world cups.

“Maybe even financially. That’s fine, but it’s my job to select the right team for any game. I’m not saying he’s right all the time, he’s not, but someone has to make the decision.”

LIKELY TEAM CHELSEA vs. BRENTFORD (3-4-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Koulibaly; Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell; Sterling, Mount; aubameyang

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