Declan Rice

Declan Rice reveals the best position of 'special' Mason Mount

Max Parsons
Mar 31, 2021, 2:00 PM GMT+1
Mason Mount and Declan Rice on England duty
Mason Mount and Declan Rice on England duty | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Declan Rice's ongoing bromance with Mason Mount is right up there on the list of 'things we love to see', but it's fair to say that the England duo haven't always received the recognition they deserve.

Slowly but surely though, that notion is beginning to change.

Rice has been a shining light for surprise Premier League package West Ham, while Mount has established himself as a key figure under new Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel - proving he's more than just a teachers pet under Frank Lampard.

Rice and Mount are also becoming more and more crucial to Gareth Southgate and England as time goes on, and was that evidenced in Sunday's 2-0 win over Albania in Group I of qualification for the 2022 World Cup. The latter scored England's second goal, while West Ham's regular captain this season picked up the man of the match award.

So why has Mount not been rated highly in the past?

It's a difficult one to explain, and it's something that Rice, quoted by talkSPORT, also can't quite fathom. Speaking in England's latest press conference ahead of the Three Lions' clash with Poland, he revealed just how highly he rates his mate - revealing what he feels to be his best position in the process.

"I don't know why it's taken so long!" Rice began. "Since he was a kid, even with me playing with him, he was always the best player, and that's me honestly speaking.

"I don't know what the obsession was with him, you know people saying 'why is Mason Mount always playing?' Well, I think you can see now why he's playing, because of what he brings to the team.

"I think his best position is number eight, box to box. I think if you see him everyday in training, how good he is and the positions he picks up, he's really intelligent and I think he's starting to become more intelligent now.

"He can play the number ten role, but I feel like when he's a number eight, arriving late into the box and he's linking things from outside the box, he's a special player and one that's really hard to try and tag down on the pitch."

Mason Mount celebrates scoring against Liverpool this season | PHIL NOBLE/Getty Images

Mount's goal in Tirana took him to four international strikes in just 15 appearances, adding to the assist he earned in England's 5-0 beating of San Marino last Thursday. He has also been in fine fettle at club level throughout 2020/21, scoring six times and assisting further six while proving to be one of Chelsea's main creative threats.

As for his future position, we'll have to wait and see what Tuchel and Southgate decide - Mount has operated in both roles Rice spoke of, as well as operating on either flank and as a false nine.