Mason Mount is calling on the experience of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard as he looks to build a career for club and country.
Blues midfielder Mount was called into the England squad last season while on loan at Derby under Lampard – though he did not play – and has returned to the international fold for the forthcoming games with Bulgaria and Kosovo.
He is now back at Chelsea, again under returning hero Lampard, and has so far scored twice in four Premier League outings.
The 20-year-old has been leaning on former England midfielder Lampard for advice and is revelling in the experience as he approaches a possible landmark weekend in his career.
“After training we do some finishing sometimes, talking to him every day especially after games on what I can do better and where I can make runs to get into the box,” Mount said.
“I am always speaking to him and trying to learn every day, but mostly after training doing finishing. There is no better person to learn from than him.
“Having one or two chats with him (about the call up), he said it’s obviously such a proud moment playing for your country, just go and enjoy it.
“It’s such an exciting time in English football and he just said go there and enjoy playing football for England.”
Being in the England squad has also allowed Mount to contemplate lining up with Declan Rice – even if he knows his old friend is plotting revenge.
It was during his time in Chelsea’s youth ranks that the attacking midfielder became close friends with Rice, who may have moved onto West Ham but should soon fulfil their dream of playing together again.
“That’s something we’ve spoke about for a long, long time,” Mount said.
“Being very, very close friends with him, that was something we always looked forward to something maybe happening in the future and this chance could happen.
“Obviously speaking together with him it’s very exciting.
“We’re very, very close, known each other for a very, very long time.
“We’ve always spoken about that opportunity of maybe playing with each other again.
“Playing with each other at Chelsea at that young age, it was something special between us, so we’ve always kept that hope of it maybe happening again.”
Mount and Rice are so close that they went on holiday together to Dubai in the summer, when the former’s video of a shocked Rice being woken up went viral.
Asked if the Hammers player had managed to get revenge yet, Mount said with a smile: “No, he tried actually. We were in the room together and I said I was going to have a nap.
“He went out and left my door on the latch, he thought I was going to fall asleep and he would come back inside but I realised he had put the door on the latch, so I closed it. He couldn’t get in after.”
Rice was in the back of the press conference room at St George’s Park for his friend’s first media appearance as a senior England player.
Mount’s only previous taste of the senior set-up was as an unused substitute in the Nations League matches in Croatia and Spain, but his progress means he is set to make his debut soon, at Wembley against Bulgaria or behind enemy lines when Kosovo head to Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium.
“I was born in Portsmouth so I am a Pompey boy and a Pompey fan,” he said.
“But I have this badge on at the moment so that doesn’t come into play too much. I am looking forward to playing at Southampton and it is a massive game for us.
“I trained with Portsmouth, Southampton and Chelsea but being a Pompey boy, I always wanted to play for Pompey.
“When Chelsea came in that was my main goal to go and play for them. Chelsea was a massive team. But I always support Pompey and look at their results.”