Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has praised the impact of Mason Mount, with the Blues unbeaten when the England midfielder has started this season.
Mount was the key man in midweek as a lacklustre Chelsea side snatched an important victory away at Watford to keep themselves top of the Premier League by the skin of their teeth.
The 22-year-old popped up to open the scoring against the run of play on the half-hour mark at Vicarage Road, and capped a fine individual display by making a darting run and cutting the ball back for Hakim Ziyech to fire in the winner with a little over 15 minutes to go after the Hornets had equalised.
The Blues are unbeaten in the nine matches Mount has started this season in all competitions, while in the 13 he has either started on the bench or been left out, Chelsea have lost two and drawn five.
Speaking about that statistical quirk and Mount’s impact on the team at his pre-match press conference ahead of facing West Ham, Tuchel said: “Maybe it’s luck or maybe it’s the effect he has to be the edge and to put the edge to our side.
“We know about this because it’s a kind of statistic that is sometimes quite interesting, like who is on the pitch when we win, who starts when we win, who ends the matches when we win. We are aware of these statistics.”
He continued: “I first heard about these statistics in American basketball, where the influence from one player is much higher because it’s five against five compared to 11 against 11 playing with your foot”, continued the boss.
“It’s not a statistic that guarantees you to start because this would be maybe a bit too easy but it’s something that we cannot deny.
“To have Mason brings a certain attitude, aura and mentality on the field and it’s nice that he has this winning ratio. We are aware of it and it’s full credit to him.”
“It’s very hard to drop him because even when he has not-so-good games, you still always get full energy, positivity and a wonderful approach to the game,” Tuchel added.
“He is very passionate and has almost a deep love with the game, always ready to give everything to contribute fully. That’s why it is hard to drop him but sometimes we do.
“He came back from an injury and we felt him a bit tired, then he also had his tooth surgery so sometimes we have to and it’s the same criteria for everybody, to fight for their place. This is where we are.”