It was only a few months ago that England team-mate Declan Rice had to defend Mason Mount from criticism on social media.
“If you see day in, day out what he gives to the team as an individual, he’s a top talent. The criticism is very harsh,” said Rice last November.
Now Chelsea midfielder Mount is being described as approaching “certain starter” status in Gareth Southgate’s team after another strong performance in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Albania in their second group game in 2022 World Cup qualifying.
Mount is the first Chelsea player to score or assist in three consecutive England appearances since Frank Lampard, who did so in seven in a row in a run ending in May 2013.
So should the 22-year-old be considered a regular starter for the Three Lions?
‘Now Tuchel picks him everyone will agree’
Some of the criticism of Mount in November 2020 appeared to focus around him starting for England instead of in-form Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, who is currently injured.
The player came under fire from fans who believe he received preferential treatment from Southgate.
After scoring England’s second goal against Albania, a classy finish after being set-up by Harry Kane, Mount was described by Southgate as an “exceptional player”.
“But I was saying this in the autumn,” added the Three Lions boss after his side continued their 100% winning start to the qualifying campaign.
“I suppose now [Chelsea manager] Thomas Tuchel picks him probably everybody will agree. When it was Frank [Lampard] it didn’t count for some reason but he’s an exceptional player.
“He finds space intelligently, he manipulates the ball very well, he creates chances, he can score goals.
“I thought his performance was excellent.”
Will Mount start against Poland?
Mount has scored four goals in 15 appearances for England.
Southgate said he could start his third England game inside a week when Poland visit Wembley on Wednesday (19:45 BST)
That qualifier promises to be a much sterner test for England than San Marino and Albania have provided in the past few days.
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Poland beat Andorra 3-0 on Sunday to move onto four points from two games in Group I, two behind leaders England.
Asked if he would be prepared to start Mount against Poland, Southgate said: “Absolutely.
“I think we’ve looked out for all of the players in the first game and his load coming into the camp was that he didn’t play in the midweek in the Champions League.
“But regardless of that, we’re trying to win and qualify for a World Cup.”
Mount’s club Chelsea are at home to West Brom next Saturday (12:30 BST) before facing Porto in the quarter-final first leg of the Champions League on 7 April.