When it comes to the Mason Mount signing. I feel it is a really astute signing, yes it may seem that the price is far too much for a player that has 1 year left on his contract.
It isn’t just about what Mount can bring to this team but also what he allows other players to bring to this side. It will allow ten Hag to implement the system he has been wanting to all season, that is the 6 and 2 advanced 8s. Eriksen just doesn’t have the legs to do it. We’ve been attempting to do it for a while with Eriksen and Bruno and Bruno and Sabitzer at times. When it comes to middle and final 3rd tackles, Mount far outshines Eriksen.
Yes, Mount struggled last season but so did everyone in the Chelsea side, let’s not forget he got 11 goals and 10 assists in the league just 12 months back. He’s a decent set piece taker and has got a good strike on him, he outperformed his xG this season, which is something very few Chelsea and Manchester United players managed.
Despite only playing 1656 minutes in a struggling Chelsea side last season, he still managed to create 30 chances, which is the 2nd most in the Chelsea side, which is a chance every 55 minutes. Eriksen by comparison created a chance every 58 minutes in a far better side.
One of the biggest facets of Mount’s game that ten Hag will benefit from most is his ability and willingness to press from the front. Mount is more combative than Eriksen. This season Mount is in the 81st percentile for middle of the park tackles, whilst being in the 94th percentile for tackles in the attacking 3rd, leaving him in the 70th percentile for tackling overall in his position.
This compared to Eriksen who is in the bottom 1% when it comes to middle 3rd tackles, bottom 29% for attacking 3rd tackles and in the bottom 5% for tackling overall. Mount has the ability to play in the 8, 10 or even on operate in wider spaces similar to what we’ve seen from Bruno at times this season, he likes to favour operating in the half spaces on the right-hand side.
With this versatility this should allow United to have a less predictable system and will allow Bruno and Mount to constantly rotate positions throughout the pitch and create overloads in certain areas.
You will lose some creativity when taking Eriksen out the side, however the extra territory you gain from being able to play higher up the pitch and improving your field tilt should negate some of that, even with that Mount still managed to find himself in the 88th percentile for progressive passes and 66th and 68th percentile for key passes and expected assists in a very poor Chelsea side.
Off the ball proficiency is something ten Hag values very highly, one of his big buzzwords is “control”, this can be achieved both on and off the ball. When Erik ten Hag was incharge of Ajax, his side topped the charts in the league for:
Mason Mount is coming in to partner Bruno in the midfield as we look to fully transition from having a staggered 6, 8, 10 to a 6 and two 8’s.
The question has to be asked though, why is an advanced 8 or a second and third phase midfielder seen to be so important?
Based off of the players in which we have been linked to and the system shift that we have been trying to implement throughout the season it looks as though ten Hag will be wanting to fully implement his 433/ 2323 in possession, for this to properly work he needs a more combative midfielder than Eriksen in that area, someone like Mount suits it perfectly.
Mount is also an excellent goal scorer, he has an excellent technique and can deliver a brilliant set piece. Eriksen is elite when it comes to set piece taking but is statistically one of the most wasteful in front of goal in the world.
After wanting to sign Mount during his days in Holland. Ten Hag finally gets his man.
I would give this transfer an 8/10.