Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the European Championship 2020 being played in 2021, this is the first regular pre-season in years for many European clubs. When it comes to Chelsea, anything normal would be a welcome change after what they’ve been through. From the highlights of winning the Club World Cup after triumphing in the Champions League to setbacks like losing the EFL and FA Cup final on penalties to Liverpool, there have been so many ups and downs. With the weight of rogue striker Romelu Lukaku off their shoulders and the club’s ownership change from Roman Abramovich to American Todd Boehly, this preseason feels like a breath of fresh air for the Blues. It’s an opportunity to relax a bit before really focusing on it.
Kicking off their US tour with a friendly against Club America on Saturday in Los Angeles, In Soccer We Trust host Heath Pearce sat down with star midfielder Mason Mount to discuss many topics, including his relationship with American Christian Pulisic. The two first met aged 11 when Pulisic was invited to train at Chelsea’s academy, but their relationship has grown since the US international joined Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund in 2018. The friends and team-mates will become rivals as the World Cup approaches in November and England and the United States are drawn into Group B, but for now they can enjoy America together and hopefully have some golfing time together as well.
“He’s home, he’s home again and this is where he comes from and he knows everyone. We always push him to the front of the line when we go somewhere and say this is yours and you are home sir. They talk to everyone and he’s obviously Captain America, so he loves it. And we’re all a group just to be here and train and have the sun out. we work hard What more could you ask for?” said Berg.
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Mount went on to share how the two have grown together over the past three years, both maturing and gaining confidence together. Pulisic was rarely a starter, only able to contribute eight goals and five assists. He acted as a rotating winger and also got some time as a center forward due to difficulties the team scored. Fully fit this season, he needs his confidence to secure a regular place and ensure he is confident in his ability to score goals even when he is just five minutes off the bench.
Looking forward to the World Cup while Mount and Pulisic will be competitors it will all be friendly apart from some trash talk on the golf course. Mount is also looking forward to swapping shirts with Pulisic after the United States-England game on November 25, the day after Thanksgiving. He knows what Pulisic is good at at Chelsea but hopes it doesn’t carry over into this game.
“I remember when he first got into that coach when we were in Japan or Asia, I think,” Mount said of Pulisic’s first days at the club. “He was pretty quiet, he was alone at the time. When you meet someone, they come out of their shell. That’s definitely what I’ve seen over the past few years.
“You can see the confidence in him and it’s great to see. Hopefully he doesn’t have that much confidence when we play each other in the World Cup.”
For Mount personally, his only true goal this season is how many goals and assists he can record, as achieving those will help the team achieve their goals. Chelsea certainly want to win every competition they can and while the Premier League will be tough with Manchester City and Liverpool at the top, Chelsea’s summer deal will bring them closer to where they want to be. If Mount and Pulisic can continue to bring out the best in each other on and off the pitch, it will surely bode well for the Blues this season. For now, they’re enjoying some fun in the sun before the grind begins in less than a month.