Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix is a huge admirer of Mason Mount
Joao Felix has reserved special praise for Mason Mount ahead of Atletico Madrid’s clash with Chelsea and revealed how Chris Willock compared him to the midfielder years ago when they were team-mates at Benfica.
The pair are preparing to go head-to-head this evening as the La Liga leaders do battle with Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Bucharest’s Arena Nationala. Fans of the Premier League are by now well aware of Mount’s qualities, with the 22-year-old arguably Chelsea’s player of the season at the halfway stage of the campaign.
But it may come as a surprise to many that Mount has a secret admirer in Felix, who had been ‘waiting’ for the Englishman to break through long before he established himself as a first-team regular at Stamford Bridge.
‘I like the way he plays, the way he likes to drag the ball, the way he touches the ball,’ the Atleti and Portugal sensation told The Daily Mail.
‘I played with Chris Willock in Benfica three or four years ago and he told me that Chelsea has a guy that he sees who is similar to me and he told me it was Mason Mount.
‘A few years later he appeared in Chelsea and I like the way he plays.
‘Chris had told me about him before he appeared in the Premier League, so I was waiting to see him.’
Mount will be full of confidence heading into tonight’s match after finding the net twice in his last three games for the Blues against Sheffield United and Southampton.
Eyebrows were raised when the England international – one of the first names on the team sheet under Frank Lampard – was named on the substitutes bench for Thomas Tuchel’s opening match in charge at home to Wolves. But Mount has quickly won over his new manager and started every single Premier League match since in the Premier League.
Mount has quickly won over new Chelsea boss Tuchel
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Southampton, Joe Cole predicted Mount would go on to become ‘one of the top players in the club’s history’ if he continues on the same trajectory.
‘Mason Mount is one of life’s mysteries how people could criticise him for playing so much,’ the former Chelsea and England winger told BT Sport.
‘He played so much for Frank not because he’s a nice lad, which he is, but because he’s a top top player.
‘Tuchel’s come in, he was out of the team in the first game, Tuchel’s a clever man and realised this kid is a proper player.
He epitomises what Chelsea’s all about. ‘I told him off-air when things weren’t going well for Frank, some of the players weren’t standing up and pushing their chest out, his levels stayed the same and tried to drive the team.
‘That’s a massive sign of maturity and that’s why Frank gave him the captain’s armband right at the end.
‘He’ll go on to be one of the top players in Chelsea’s history, he’s that good.’ Which team will progress through to the next round of the Champions League?
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