Chelsea have a player in their midst who will be able to share valuable first hand experience of tonight’s opponents Ajax.
Mason Mount spent a season on loan at Vitesse in 2017 playing in the Eredivisie and will know exactly what to expect from Ajax tonight, having faced them a number of times already.
He was involved in The Blues 1-0 victory against them just two weeks ago of course, but it will be another tough match this evening against a very good team in Ajax.
Mount has become an important player for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side, fore-fronting the youth revolution as it is affectionately being referred to by some Blues fans.
He is a regular for Lampard and has often come up with the goods already, scoring important goals along the way and showing real intensity and desire to win matches.
But he knows tonight won’t be easy, as he tells the Chelsea website:
“It was very important for me to go there [Holland] at 18 years old, moving countries, and it definitely made me grow as a person
“The technical side of the game out there is so high so it helped that part of my game a lot. It was my first professional loan so getting minutes and playing well was the most important thing and it sort of kick-started my career really.
“I was playing in the Europa League as well so straight away that gave me the experience of European football. It’s not the Champions League but to start off in that competition was brilliant for me. We played away in Lazio, in France against Nice and Waregem.
“It gave me so much experience to go into the Champions League where it’s bigger. There’s much more pressure on the games and performances but we can handle that. We’ve shown that after a tough start with the way we’ve bounced back and hopefully we can keep getting the wins.
“We had to be professional, to grow up and come of age because Ajax are a very good side. They had two 3-0 wins in the group going into the match so we knew it was going to be a tough game but we also knew we could cause them problems if we were on it.
“With the young players in the team, we all stepped up with the experienced players around us, helping us. We were very together throughout the game and that’s what we felt in the changing room afterwards – how together and solid we were.
“We know how important this next game is because they’re playing so well but hopefully we can replicate our performance from Holland back at the Bridge.
Mount remembers facing Ajax for Vitesse…
“I was on the bench for the away game, it was quite early on in the season and I wasn’t playing so much, but I started the second game when we won 3-2.
“We beat them home and away that season so I have good memories of playing Ajax and three wins from three – hopefully we can carry that on!
“They were doing so well in the league. Ajax and PSV are the biggest games in the Eredivisie and we played well against them.
“It’s great to come up against players like Siem de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek. You see what they were doing then, what they’re doing now, how they’ve progressed and how I’ve progressed as well.
“We’ve gone down other paths but Van de Beek is still there and he’s a very good player. It’s always good to play against top players that are young and up-and-coming.”