Mason Mount insists that he is ready to battle for his place should Chelsea start to spend if their transfer ban is overturned later this month.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced yesterday that Chelsea’s appeal against their FIFA transfer ban for irregularities in signing young players will be heard on November 20.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, who has given Mount his chance this season, hinted that if the players were out there, his club would spend to reinforce his young squad in January if the appeal goes their way.
England star Mount, 20, is one of those who have benefitted from the club being prevented from signing players last summer, with Lampard having little option but to turn to his academy products to reinforce his squad, with Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Marc Guehi all getting chances.
In previous years their pathway at Stamford Bridge would have been blocked by big money signings, and that could happen again, even though Mount and co. have exceeded all expectations this season, lying fourth in the Premier League, and knowing a win against Ajax on Tuesday night (8pm) would give them one foot in the Champions League knockout stages.
Mount, with four goals and a string of impressive performances that have seen him force his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad, has been the standout of Lampard’s young lions so far.
But he said of the prospect of new signings: “We’ve had to deal with that during our whole time at Chelsea.
“You come into a team, there’s players from different countries and you’ve got to work and show how good you are.
“There’s always been that competition within Chelsea. We’re all ready for it. It’s exactly the same now.
“There’s still massive competition within the team and you’ve got to fight for your place.
“Whatever happens happens. We’ve shown what we can do with a ban, and we’re doing well.
“But looking at what we’ve done so far we can definitely carry on doing this.
“A lot of us coming through together helped, the experienced players helped us, made us feel confident.
“That’s the most important thing, to be confident that you’re ready to play at this level.
“I was ready, no matter what happened. I have been at the club for a very long time. You have got to have belief in yourself and be ready for that opportunity.
“It probably came a bit earlier than I expected, but I was ready so fully focussed on taking my opportunity.”