Mason Mount elated after fulfilling England debut ‘dream’ alongside childhood friend Declan Rice

Simon Peach
The Independent

Mason Mount was elated to not only have fulfilled his childhood dream but also make his England debut alongside best friend Declan Rice.

Just 103 days after lining up for Derby in their Championship play-off final defeat to Aston Villa, the 20-year-old stepped back out on the Wembley pitch as a senior international following a superb start to the season with Chelsea.

Frank Lampard has overseen his progress at both clubs and the England centurion will have been as proud as anyone to see Mount make his debut as a 67th substitute in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Bulgaria.

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It marked quite the ascent for the Chelsea academy graduate and looks to be the first of many caps for the Three Lions.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to make your debut for your country,” attack-minded midfielder Mount said with a big grin. “It’s something that you dream of as a little kid.

“I think the percentages of people that do it are very slim, so it’s been a long, long career that I’ve had so far. But I’ve been working hard and obviously it’s a massively proud moment for me and my family.

“I wasn’t really too nervous. It’s a game of football so it’s something that I’ve done all my life. When you come on, you just want to get on the ball, have your first touch, get that out the way and then try to influence the game. It’s been a crazy last couple of months. Making my debut for Chelsea, and now being called up to the England squad and making my debut today. It has been a blur.”

Mount was an unused substitute in last October’s Nations League doubleheader against Croatia and Spain, but there was no sense of frustration from the playmaker – especially as that led his debut to be extra special.

Mason Mount makes his England debut (Getty)
Mason Mount makes his England debut (Getty)

Rice was still a Republic of Ireland international back then, but his subsequent switch to the country of his birth meant the West Ham midfielder was on the field when his former Chelsea youth team-mate entered the fray.

“We’ve obviously known each other for a very, very long time and always speaking about maybe that opportunity of playing with each other again,” Mount said.

“It’s obviously happened today so I went over to him straight away and just said ‘well done, we’re back on the pitch together’, so, yeah, looking forward to the future now.”

Asked if lifting silverware was the ultimate dream for the pair, he told beIN SPORTS: “Yeah, of course. And I think the group we’ve got, the young group, I think we’re definitely working towards that. So hopefully in the next, I don’t know months or years we, can achieve something.”

Mount will be hoping to get another chance to impress when England host Kosovo in Southampton on Tuesday evening.

Gareth Southgate told the post-match press conference that the 20-year-old has already shown to be “a threat to the starting team” and was quick to go over to the player at full-time.

“He just said congratulations for making your debut and well done,” Mount added. “All the boys came up to me after the game in the dressing room saying well done.

“You can feel how tight the group is. It’s a young group, fired up to win games and to learn. I felt it was very nice and to have all the boys around me.”

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