Phil Foden has been the name on everyone’s lips since he burst onto the scene last summer by playing a starring role in England U17’s World Cup triumph, but there’s a new kid on the block who has knocked him off his perch, namely Chelsea’s Mason Mount.
That kid is certainly not playing with the fear or immaturity which often restricts the progress of young players breaking through. Chelsea’s 19-year-old academy product made the decision to embark on a season-long loan with Vitesse Arnhem last season despite his lack of experience in senior football.
But Mount took to his new surroundings like a duck to water as he scored 13 goals and provided 10 assists in just 39 appearances for the club and he collected the player of the season award in the process – not bad for an 18-year-old playing his trade on foreign soil for the very first time.
Meanwhile, in Manchester, Phil Foden was slowly embedding into the first-team squad at Manchester City and his development became a key talking point in the British media.
Stockport’s answer to Andres Iniesta passed every test with flying colours but Pep Guardiola has been reluctant to fully unleash him just yet, whereas Mount was shipped off on loan once again this summer, this time to Derby County where he has linked up with Frank Lampard.
Those who doubted Mount’s ability to replicate his form from Holland in the immensely competitive second tier of English football have been forced to eat their words already.
4 goals from his first 8 appearances for the Rams earned him a call-up to the England U21 squad and he was handed his debut on Tuesday afternoon against Latvia – Foden didn’t even make the squad for this fixture.
And just when things couldn’t get any better for Mount, he provided the assist for Tammy Abraham to draw England level with half-time approaching before he bagged a 73rd minute winner to put the U21’s in touching distance of qualifying for the European Championships.
It’s quite the meteoric rise for a player who was practically unknown this time last summer and the progress he has made firmly suggests he has replaced Foden as England’s most exciting young talent – for now at least.