Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is adamant a story claiming Mason Mount was concerned for his place in the Blues’ team following the arrival of Kai Havertz was “fabricated”.
Mount, 21, enjoyed a breakthrough season with Chelsea last term, as he returned to the club following a year-long loan with Derby County, where he had previously played under Lampard.
The midfielder played 37 times in the Premier League, scoring seven goals and setting up another five, while he has also accumulated seven England caps since 2019-20 began.
But the signing of Havertz in a reported €71million (£65.3m) deal from Bayer Leverkusen led to some suggesting Mount’s position could be under threat.
A report emanating from Germany went a step further and claimed Mount was concerned as well – though Lampard insists there is no truth to such stories.
“I saw the story about Mount, I know it was absolutely fabricated by somebody, particularly as it came from the German end,” Lampard told reporters in Thursday’s pre-match news conference ahead of a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday.
Looking sharp, @kaihavertz29 ! pic.twitter.com/UmOGDWAabF
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 10, 2020
“I’m not sure if he has any family or friends out there he would talk to, but it was a strange angle for that to come from Mason.
“What I do know is that, with the young players in the team and the way football is at a club like Chelsea, if you’re a young player that’s got a foot in and then the club brings players in around you, that raises levels, or we hope they raise levels, then the other players should, and hopefully will, raise their levels, and everybody improves.
“I will be fair when I pick the team, I don’t pick the team on whether you’ve come from the academy or not, I pick it every week on how we’ve been training or performing.
“Everyone should be positive going into the season, training and playing as well as they can, and worry about the unity of the squad and the results we get as a team.”
Havertz’s comfort both as an attacking midfielder or central striker could potentially help Mount’s cause, with Lampard revealing the Germany international has not requested to be played in a specific position.
“Kai, with his qualities, is flexible to play in different positions, so I haven’t changed my view after two or three days of seeing him,” Lampard added.
“I think we can use the versatility. One of the pluses when I spoke to him was that he’s very comfortable, he’s not saying he wants to play in ‘this’ position, he’s actually very happy to help the team and he can give us different qualities in different areas.
“It’s not one we have to nail down.”