Erik ten Hag backs Mason Mount for new role at Manchester United

New Manchester United signing Mason Mount is taking on a deeper role than he has played in the past under Erik ten Hag, but the Dutchman is backing him to make a success of it.

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Mount went straight into the starting XI in the Red Devils’ Premier League opener against Wolves on Monday, a game which finished 1-0 to the home side at Old Trafford but saw them struggling to find their best form.

Mount was in a midfield three with Casemiro deepest and Bruno Fernandes ahead of him, but the central midfield role is deeper than Mount has regularly played previously for Chelsea or England.

Ten Hag thinks it will take time for the Englishman to adapt to the slightly different demands of the role, but has no doubt that the 24-year-old will manage it.

‘I think he can [play deeper],’ said Ten Hag. ‘Already, we have seen it in pre-season, but it’s what I’ve said, definitely we have to work on many facets of our game but also that facet about midfield and the co-operation, how we have to set it.

‘I’m sure we will get it [right], but it’s not coming overnight and [if] it was easier then everyone could do it.’

Ten Hag says that just last season there was evidence that it could be done as Christian Eriksen was signed over the summer and asked to play deeper than he was used to, behind Fernandes.

‘Christian Eriksen, last season, came in and had the same,’ said Ten Hag. ‘First time in his life he played in a deeper role and that was the ambition from Christian and then also the ambition from Mason.

‘And so he wants to be more multifunctional. That’s the way I see football, but as I say, it will not come overnight. There’s a process we have to go through, but he’s very game-intelligent.

‘He has the technical abilities, has also good vision on the ball. He knows how to deal with the ball. He has the dynamics, don’t forget that. He has the mentality. So, all the ingredients are there to do it.’

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