Mount risking becoming forgotten man as Man Utd dream quickly turns to nightmare
Mason Mount couldn't contain his excitement at the prospect of joining Manchester United this summer.
So much so that he turned up for pre-season training earlier than he needed to, so he could hit the ground running.
He snubbed offers from Arsenal and Tottenham, and spoke of how his mind was made up once he knew United wanted him.
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"It's a massive club with huge, iconic players that have played here," said Mount in his first interview after completing his £60m move north from Chelsea.
"I wanted to be part of that from the beginning. We've got a big season ahead and want to win trophies. We want to be successful."
But within a few months of landing in Manchester, Mount finds himself in the middle of a living nightmare at the 'Theatre of Dreams'.
One so bad that Mount, 24, has spent just two minutes on the pitch while his team has been winning.
Mount has started just four league games and seven in all competitions.
He hasn't scored a single goal.
In fact, he hasn't found the back of the net at all in the top flight for almost 10 months.
A thigh injury hasn't helped, granted, which ruled him out for five weeks between the middle of August and last week in September.
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But on the fleeting occasions Mount has appeared in Erik ten Hag's team, he has looked isolated, lost and confused in equal measure.
Those days back in July when United hit out at professional autograph hunters for hounding Mount, now feel like a lifetime ago.
Footage of him being pursued by those keen to get things signed emerged on social media and United condemned those responsible.
But catching a glimpse of Mount out on the pitch, let alone getting his signature, feels like a rarity these days.
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The burden of wearing the iconic No.7 shirt is weighing heavy on his young shoulders.
Because Mount might have gone from one big club to another, but he's now learning at the sharp end just how unforgiving a place United is when things don't go well.
Two defeats represent a crisis – and United have slumped to eight of them in 15 matches this season.
While attempting to adjust to his new surroundings, Mount has spent time on the phone with his best friend in football, Declan Rice.
Which has proved comforting but also challenging in equal measure.
He's had to listen to how Rice has fitted in seamlessly at his own new club, Arsenal, where Mikel Arteta's men sit tucked in in second place behind leaders Tottenham.
A Tottenham side which turned to fellow attacking midfielder James Maddison in the summer, after Mount had chosen United.
Mount has seen Maddison be a revelation in north London too, just like Rice.
Two players with genuine chances of winning something come the end of the season, not to mention be included in Gareth Southgate's England squad for Euro 2024.
It used to be a standing joke around the England camp how Mount was one of Southgate's favourites.
Not anymore, he's not.
Mount hasn't played for the Three Lions since their World Cup quarter final defeat to France in Doha last December.
Mount used to be one of the first names on the team sheet for club and country
But these days the game is threatening to leave him behind and forget who he used to be.
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