Declan Rice passionately defends England teammate Mason Mount amid criticism of Chelsea star
Declan Rice has launched a passionate defence of his friend and England teammate Mason Mount amid recent criticism of the Chelsea playmaker.
With Gareth Southgate seemingly unsure over a regular England starting place for in-form Jack Grealish, he has often picked Mount over the Aston Villa captain.
It has led to a backlash on social media, with fans calling the Chelsea midfielder, who is also a regular in Frank Lampard’s side, a ‘teacher’s pet’.
However, the pair of midfielders started England’s 3-0 victory over Ireland earlier this week and after the win Grealish hit out at the ‘annoying’ criticism of Mount and said that he doesn’t even believe the two are competing for the same position.
And West Ham midfielder Rice has echoed those sentiments, insisting his former Chelsea academy teammate would be an asset to any Premier League team as well as England.
Rice said: “We don’t speak about it but it is very harsh.
“I know what his mentality is like. I know how driven he is. It is no surprise that Gareth picks him, Frank [Lampard] picks him and if you gave every Premier League manager the chance, they would pick him as well.”
“If you look at Jack and Mase, there will always be comparisons but they are playing in two different parts of the pitch.
“Mason now at Chelsea is playing as an attacking eight and Jack is playing off the left [at Villa] and we saw the other night they can both play in the same team and they are both great players we should be valuing.”