Home » Analysis: Why is Mason Mount struggling at Manchester United?

Analysis: Why is Mason Mount struggling at Manchester United?

by Alex Browne

Mason Mount’s start to his Manchester United adventure has had as much colour as a typical Manchester November morning. For anyone who is not familiar with the city’s weather, that is not a lot.

The English midfielder has struggled to make any impact whatsoever and this has led to many fans questoning why on earth Erik ten Hag decided to splurge an initial £55m on the player, especially in the context that the club had a somewhat limited budget to spend in the summer due to the ongoing takeover drama.

The English midfielder had become disillusioned with life at Chelsea and wanted a new challenge. The Red Devils were not the only club who desired the England international’s signature. Liverpool and Arsenal were also seen as tough competition for the ex-Chelsea academy graduate. Luckily for Ten Hag, Mount opted for Old Trafford.

That is where the luck has ended so far. Mount arrived to the club on the back of a poor campaign at Chelsea but who didn’t struggle at The Blues last season? The West London based club finished an horrific 12th in the table with a paltry goal difference of -9. Not really a conducive environment for Mount to show off his talent.

We football fans also tend to suffer from short memories. The Englishman was instrumental in Chelsea’s Champions League win in 2021 and even finished 19th on the 2021 Ballon d’Or list, ahead of Bruno Fernandes.

Therefore, one could argue, the transfer made sense. But it hasn’t. The Dutch coach who brought him to the club seems completely clueless about where he wants to play him. The Englishman has already played as a number 8, number 10 and off the right.

Despite a positive start to pre-season for Mount, once the games got serious, he has looked short of confidence. The midfielder had positive scoring and assisting numbers for Chelsea, finding the back of the net 33 times for the London club. So, many United fans felt finally Bruno Fernandes had some help in that department but the two have looked incredibly incompatible when they have played together.

This is a problem for the man from Portsmouth, because Bruno always plays. The former Sporting Lisbon midfielder played more football than anyone in Europe’s top five leagues last season. Therefore, if the England international is to find success at the Red Devils he will need to find a way to play productively in the same team as the Portuguese club captain.

Pundits have also called out Mount for his passiveness and inability to get involved in the play. Former United striker, Louis Saha, lambasted Mount’s “shocking” side-stepping of responsibility on the pitch.

This can be seen in Mount’s statistics. In 10 games he has the record of 0 goals and 1 assist in the Carabao Cup. A “needs to do better” report card would be an understatement.

Although the former Chelsea player, like any new signing, requires time. The Champions League winner has been unlucky on two accounts. The first is, in only his second game, he suffered an injury that kept him out a few weeks at the start of the season. Getting injured is always misfortunate for players but especially in the context of being a new arrival looking to make their mark on a new team.

The second, is Mount probably thought he was leaving a toxic situation at Chelsea and finding a stable environment at a club on the up at Manchester United. The 2022/23 season would have suggested as much. Unfortunately for anyone connected with the club, this has not been the case.

Overall, the midfielder has had a terrible start, some of it on him, some of it on circumstances. It doesn’t look great but it would be premature to give up on a player after 10 games. Let’s make a judgement at the end of the season and hopefully there will be a few more things to get excited about in the spring weather.

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