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August 9, 2022
DailyNews – MK

Mason Mount relishing Chelsea selection battle after summer spending as he hails ‘world-class’ Hakim Ziyech

Mason Mount insists Chelsea’s summer spending spree never left him fearing for his future.

Frank Lampard spent more than £200million on “world-class” talent like Hakim Ziyech to turn his side into genuine Premier League title contenders.

But while that has created intense competition for places at Stamford Bridge, homegrown product Mount was adamant he would rise to the challenge.

The 21-year-old has proved himself a key figure in Lampard’s plans – starting 10 games this season, including Saturday’s 4-1 win against Sheffield United that underlined Chelsea’s title credentials.

He said: “My character and the way I am, I’m always ready for a challenge and I want to fight for my position. I knew the standard of the players coming in was world-class, which is what we want at this club.

“That competition keeps us all going and keeps us at that high standard. I wasn’t worried about the new signings, I was excited to play with them and join on the pitch with them.

“That’s how it’s working out at the moment and it’s exciting stuff for us all.”

Lampard’s summer business has had the desired effect, with Chelsea currently on a run of 11 games unbeaten in all competitions.

Their latest victory briefly moved them up to third, while in Ziyech they have discovered an inspirational figure, who brings to mind the game-changing qualities of Eden Hazard.

Mount added: “He’s a brilliant player. I’ve spoken about him before. He comes into the team and he knows what he can bring with his quality left foot. He brings something new to the team which is brilliant for us.

<p>Hakim Ziyech continues to shine for Chelsea following injury and his move from Ajax</p>

“The gaffer always speaks about having the competition to keep our standard high and Hakim is a world-class player coming in. We want players of that calibre coming in and bringing a lot to the team and helping us out, which he definitely did against Sheffield United.

“We always knew at the start of the season that it was going to be tough to click straight away as a team when you have so many new players coming in without that much of a pre-season.

“But now we’re gaining that momentum and we’re getting better and better on the pitch and on the training ground we’re learning more and more about each other. And that’s what we need to do to be a winning team.

“We’re very close as players and as a squad with the staff. We just needed time to get together and gain that momentum and I think we’re doing that at the moment.”

Another new signing in Timo Werner scored a fifth goal in his last four games for Chelsea against Sheffield United, while Thiago Silva also got off the mark with his first goal since his free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.

<p>Frank Lampard is keen to play down expectations over a Chelsea title challenge</p>

Chris Wilder claims Chelsea are now in the same bracket as Liverpool and ManchesterCity as one of the three best teams in the country.

But Lampard is trying to dampen the growing hype around his side.

“We have to prove ourselves as the gap has been too big now for the level of consistency with two of the best teams in both world football and in the modern era in the Premier League,” he said. “So, we have to understand where we are at and be humble about that.

“We are in a nice moment this weekend. It is nice for Chris to say we have played well, so that’s fresh in all our minds. Now it is ‘can we produce it regularly?’ That’s the next question of us. I won’t get too carried away.”

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