Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount has said he's pleased with the manner in which the team have proved doubters wrong in the early weeks of the 2019-20 season.
The Blues got off to a shaky start under manager Frank Lampard, and many expected the ban on summer signings to be a big hindrance to the team. However, the young side have excelled in recent weeks, playing exciting attacking football and winning their last seven games in a row.
Ahead of the clash with Manchester United in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, Mount said the team are doing what they can to silence the critics, per James Nalton of Goal:
"The manager tells us that we're not going to be given a chance just because we're young, we have to earn it. But the fans have been calling for young English players for a long time and the backing they've given us makes us all want to give that extra yard on the pitch.
"People wrote us off at the start of the season and said we wouldn't do well without new signings, so we just need to keep proving them wrong."
The Blues enjoyed two excellent away performances last week, as they backed up an impressive 1-0 win at Ajax in the UEFA Champions League with a 4-2 hammering with Burnley on Saturday.
Christian Pulisic starred in the latter encounter, notching a hat-trick:
Per Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph, although Lampard's hand has been forced with the transfer ban to a degree, he has made bold choices in his selection of younger players:
Matt Law @Matt_Law_DT
Common response to this is 'transfer ban'. Fine but Lampard wasn't forced to sell Luiz and play Tomori. Or forced to loan out Bakayoko and Drinkwater and play Mount. Or forced to play Abraham over Batshuayi and Giroud, a World Cup winner. Or forced to pick Hudson-Odoi over Pedro. https://t.co/ZXJfcwurCo
Mount is one of many who has benefitted from the coach's faith. The duo worked together at Derby County last season, with the midfielder impressing during a loan spell.
It's to Mount's credit that he has been able to elevate his game in the Premier League, quickly cementing his place in the Chelsea XI. This season, he has started all 10 of the Blues' top-flight matches, netting four goals and laying on one assist.
Per WhoScored.com, the 20-year-old has added a productive edge to his game since the start of last season:
Mount's form has dropped off a little in recent matches, and he will be wary of losing his place in the team in the coming weeks.
After all, Chelsea have so much quality to call on in the attacking third. In support of the striker, Pulisic and Ross Barkley represent direct competition for the midfielder, while on the flanks, the likes of Willian, Pedro and Callum Hudson-Odoi represent other exciting options.
Mount has shown enough to suggest he will be part of the Chelsea side for a long time, though, and Lampard deserves massive praise for forming an environment in which prodigious talents like him can thrive.