Carrying the enduring No. 7 shirt adorned by Manchester United greats like Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham, Mason Mount turned the membership’s first signing of the low season on Wednesday. And upon completion of his 55 million kilos ($69 million) switch from Chelsea, the 24-year-old midfielder declared his intention to emulate United’s stars of the previous.
“I am hugely ambitious; I know how amazing it feels to win major trophies and what it takes to do it,” Mount stated. “I will be giving everything to experience that again at Manchester United.”
The No. 7 has been worn by some of United’s greatest players including 1960s icon George Best, Bryan Robson, who was dubbed ‘Captain Marvel’ in the 80s and 90s; and Eric Cantona, who inspired the start of the club’s near 20-year dominance of English soccer in 90s and 2000s.
Beckham and Ronaldo are global icons that have transcended the sport, as well as winning soccer’s biggest prizes.
In other words, it is a big shirt to fill.
Not that United thinks that will be a problem for a player who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021 and has established himself as an England regular.
“Mason is an extremely intelligent footballer and has so many fantastic technical qualities that will significantly add to our squad,” United football director John Murtough said. “We have admired his talents for a long time, so we are delighted that he has chosen to take the next steps in his career here at Old Trafford.”
The No. 7 shirt has been vacant since Ronaldo’s second spell at United resulted in acrimony final November when his contract was terminated following an incendiary interview with Piers Morgan through which he criticized United’s possession and supervisor Erik ten Hag.
In handing Mount the shirt, Ten Hag made it clear how necessary he believes his signing will likely be to the membership’s makes an attempt to return to the summit of English soccer after 10 years with out the league title.
“His model of play and attributes are an ideal match for this squad, and all of us consider that he’ll solely enhance additional working with Erik ten Hag and his teaching employees,” Murtough said. “Mason himself is a world-class player but he also has the ability to improve the players around him through his game intelligence and tactical awareness.”
While the No. 7 has been worn by United’s greats, it has also weighed heavily on many players – particularly since Ronaldo left for Real Madrid in 2009.
Antonio Valencia, Angel di Maria, Memphis Depay and Alexis Sanchez all struggled to live up to the expectation that comes with wearing it.
Ten Hag’s interest in Mount reportedly dates back to when the Dutchman was coach of Ajax and watched the then-Chelsea youth prospect star on loan with Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands.
Now he has got his man, with Mount ending his 18-year stay at Chelsea to join a United team that has been much-improved in just one year under Ten Hag.
As well as returning to the Champions League, United also won the English League Cup in Ten Hag’s first season at Old Trafford.
“Everyone can see that the club has made big steps forward under Erik ten Hag,” Mount said. “Having met with the manager and discussed his plans, I couldn’t be more excited for the seasons ahead, and am ready for the hard work expected here. I am hugely ambitious; I know how amazing it feels to win major trophies and what it takes to do it. I will be giving everything to experience that again at Manchester United.”
Mount has signed a five-year deal with the option of another 12 months. United will have to pay a further 5 million pounds ($6.3 million) based on certain targets relating to appearances and success.
Mount joined Chelsea as a six-year-old and went on to become a fan favorite after rising through the ranks to win the Champions League, European Super Cup and Club World Cup. He was twice named the club’s player of the year and made 195 appearances, scoring 33 goals.
“It’s never easy leaving the club where you grew up, but Manchester United will provide an exciting new challenge for the next phase of my career,” he stated. “Having competed towards them, I do know simply how robust a squad it’s that I’m becoming a member of, and I can’t wait to be a part of this group’s drive to win main trophies.”
Mount posted an emotional video message to Chelsea followers on Tuesday to verify his departure.
“Given the speculation over the last six months this may not come as a surprise to you, but it doesn’t make it any easier to tell that I’ve made the decision to leave Chelsea,” he stated on Instagram. “I know some of you won’t be happy with my decision but it is what’s right for me at this moment in my career.”
Whereas the No. 7 shirt has been stuffed, Ten Hag continues to be looking out for a substitute for Ronaldo.
He desires a prime class heart ahead to guide United’s bid to win the Premier League title and compete within the Champions League.
United has repeatedly been linked with a transfer for Harry Kane, however the Tottenham striker seems like a troublesome deal to do, given the membership’s dedication to maintain maintain of its star participant.