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Saltor explains missing Mount challenge in Chelsea dugout

N’golo Kante returned to the first team fold to captain the Blues against Liverpool. The Frenchman’s availability for Chelsea was a welcome sign but the absence of Mason Mount in the goalless draw added fuel to the speculation.

The Cobham graduate has been in a battle with the Blues’ hierarchy over his future. Mount is due a new contract, but one that satisfies his needs has not been forthcoming. Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool made matters worse with a speculated move to Anfield appearing on the back papers.

Mount has not featured for Chelsea since their 2-0 defeat to Tottenham back in February. He was available for selection against the Reds but was mysteriously absent on the pitch even when the hosts required extra attacking manpower.

Interim boss, Bruno Saltor did not mince his words in explaining the versatile midfielder’s situation. Saltor attributed it to Mount’s injury management and shared that he would love to have him back for cover in multiple areas.

“He was available, but he’s coming back from an injury. It’s always challenging bringing players back from injury. He can play in different positions. He’s a great player. We love him.

“He’s a leader. He loves the club. You can see he’s an important player for us. He will have minutes for sure with anyone.”

Contract extension and a struggling year

In his four years with the Chelsea first team, Mount has gone from strength to strength. He has been the Chelsea Player of the Year for the last two seasons. However, the current season has seen a dip in his form.

The 24-year-old has only scored three goals from 32 appearances this season. With Klopp and Liverpool on the horizon, his dwindling form has given the club’s hierarchy a scare.

Chelsea?s Mason Mount applauds the fans after the Premier League match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday February 26, 2023. - Photo by Icon sport
Chelsea?s Mason Mount applauds the fans after the Premier League match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday February 26, 2023. – Photo by Icon sport

Graham Potter understood the conundrum his star pupil was in and did not shy away from talking about it in the media. He dismissed reported attitude problems with the Cobham graduate and hailed him for his professional approach.

“I think it’s been tough for him because he’s had some niggling injury and speculation off the pitch. He’s a professional and a top professional and he’s a fantastic lad,” Potter said.

“How he’s acted with me, with the team, how he’s acted around us has been absolutely top. I think that’s credit to him because sometimes in your career things are difficult, not quite optimal how you’d like them to be and you have to act well and conduct yourself in a good way and that’s exactly what he’s done.”

Liverpool preparing for Chelsea scoops

Despite failing to get anything from their Stamford Bridge trip, Liverpool will be back for off-the-field discussions. The Blues have a bloated dressing room and needs to cut their wage bill.

Conor Gallagher

With the Reds needing reinforcement themselves, they can cherry-pick players. Chelsea has a plethora of players running out of their contracts along with academy graduates looking for futures elsewhere.

While Mount has attracted headlines for Klopp’s attraction, he might be joined by Conor Gallagher who has also caught the Reds’ fancy. The Epsom native has been a peripheral presence in the playing eleven and will be one early on the chopping block.

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