Mason Mount admits it’s still something of thrill to be working under the guidance of one of his idols on a daily basis.
The Chelsea midfielder is on a season-long loan with Derby County, who are managed by former Blues and England ace Frank Lampard.
- UEFA European U21 Championship qualifier
- 7.45pm, Thursday 6 September
- Carrow Road, Norwich City
- Tickets: £10/£5
- Live on BT Sport
And Mount, who is with the England U21s squad for the first time this week, says that the man he now calls ‘gaffer’ was one of the players he looked up to in his younger years.
“I just remember watching Lampard, [Steven] Gerrard and [Wayne] Rooney when I was younger, that’s the earliest memory that I have of watching England,” explained Mount.
“They were my England heroes from when I was younger. Rooney, because he was young when he was coming through, Frank Lampard, David Beckham and Steve Gerrard were all role models.
“When I was young, I used to have every kit of every team, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and even though I can’t remember my first England kit, I used to have Lampard and Joe Cole on the back.”
It was Lampard who told Mount about his call up to the Young Lions squad too, following a training session with the Championship club last Friday.
The 19-year-old revealed: “When I first found out, I was training at the time with Derby and the gaffer came over to me and said ‘do you know you’ve been called up to the U21s?’
“He said: ‘You’ve been called up to the U21s, it’s your first time, congratulations.
“I haven’t really spoken to him about England yet, at the moment I’m just focusing on the club but obviously, it was a proud moment for me and I just couldn’t wait to get here with the boys and get started.”
Having represented England across the development levels over the last few years and winning last year’s U19 Euro title, Mount now joins Aidy Boothroyd’s squad as they set their own sights on Euro success next summer.
They face the Netherlands in Norwich on Thursday evening in what is a crucial game in qualifying for the Euro Finals in Italy and San Marino next summer, and the Portsmouth-born playmaker is already settling into the squad.
“I’m just getting to know the boys and how they play, as it’s my first time with them,” he added.
“You have to have the winning mentality and these players have won stuff with England before, and we all want to win stuff.
“Within training, you’re always looking at the end focus and that’s the game with Holland so we’re preparing for that and working on bits towards the game.
“I can feel that togetherness and we’ve bought into it and the end goal is that we want to win the Euros.”