Tuchel praise for Mount: I see how much he cares about Chelsea

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Thomas Tuchel insists his admiration for Mason Mount has grown since becoming Chelsea head coach.

The futures of Mount and other academy products who made the first-team breakthrough under Frank Lampard have been the source of much conjecture since Tuchel replaced Chelsea's all-time top goalscorer in the Stamford Bridge dugout.

England midfielder Mount being dropped to the bench for the former Paris Saint-Germain boss' first game in charge against Wolves last week was viewed in some quarters, perhaps prematurely, as a pivotal early moment in his reign.

However, Mount returned to play 80 minutes in the 2-0 win over Burnley at the weekend and, ahead of Friday's (AEDT) London derby against Tottenham, Tuchel told reporters that he was a keen admirer of the 22-year-old.

"I absolutely agree with the potential that I see, which you mention, with Mason," he said, with injury doubts over Kai Havertz meaning Mount is likely to retain his starting place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

"What I see from outside and what I know now from the inside is that the guy is 100 per cent all the time, even more that he cares a lot about Chelsea. He cares about his teammates and leaves his heart out there on the pitch.

"If you train with Mason or play with Mason, the one thing you can be sure of is that absolutely he gives 100 per cent. This is the best level to grow from, the best situation to become a top, top, top player.

"He has everything that is needed to reach higher and higher levels. I don't know where his limits are but right now we will push him and support him.

"The most important thing is that it comes from inside of him. What makes me very happy is he's a nice guy, a totally open guy and has a very positive aura and energy in the dressing room and out on the pitch."

Tuchel's admiration for English talent is not confined to the training fields of Cobham and he acknowledged Spurs being without Harry Kane through injury will be a boost to Chelsea's hopes.

"I would say it's always easier if Harry Kane is not playing, that's absolutely no secret," he said.

"Harry Kane is one of the best number nines in the world. When he is in shape he is maybe the role model of the number nine that every coach and every team wishes for, in terms of work rate, ambition, mentality, attitude and goalscoring. For sure, he is outstanding."

Tuchel has his own highly rated striker, although Timo Werner's only goal since early November came in the FA Cup against League Two Morecambe.

"It's our responsibility to create situations and moments when he can bring out his best," he added.

"That means to attack the space behind the back of the last line of defence of opponents, to use his feet.

"This is what we try to do with every player and, from there on, the last 15 or 20 per cent will come back when he scores.

"This is my opinion with every striker in the world. You can talk, they can score in training, you can do whatever. Nothing helps as much as them scoring in important games.

"He has good memories of the stadium at Spurs, he scored a decisive goal against them for RB Leipzig [in the Champions League last season]. Sometimes things like this help also."

Source Omnisport