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Lionel Messi predicts English youngster will become “one of the best”

Lionel Messi surprised many as he predicts that a particular English youngster will become “one of the best” in the world.

The Barcelona legend reckons Chelsea‘s Mason Mount has what it takes after being impressed with what he’s seen of him.

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Portsmouth born Mount has appeared 43 times for Chelsea and at 21 years old has already capped by England four times in his debut Premier League campaign.

His six goals have played a part in the Blues climbing to as high as fourth in the table.

It’s very rare that the Argentine speaks out on other players, but couldn’t resist opening up with praise on the Premier League star.

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Messi said of Mount: “Having watched him play he has the potential to be one of the best.”

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has also hailed the start he made at the club.

“He’s done a lot,” said Lampard in pre-season. “Coming back here, obviously I worked with him last year, and I’m really happy with how he’s trained and his status within the group.

“The players recognise quality instantly, but they also recognise work rate and character. Mason’s got all of those and he’s given me a problem.

“Ross Barkley’s also had a good pre-season and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be back later on. It’s good because they’re all adaptable and can play in a variety of positions amongst themselves.

“I couldn’t ask for more from what Mason’s done.”

Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness also said of Mount: “I thought he was fabulous [against Tottenham]. That day Chelsea were almost faultless. The only criticism you have is they didn’t score enough goals.

“They played with real purpose in midfield and the ball was always played forward. I think he [Frank Lampard] has made his mind up that he plays Jorginho or Kovacic.

“I think if you are an England manager you have got to be looking at him very closely. I know he is young. Starting with him, building your midfield around him.

“He silky, sees a great picture, has brilliant technique, looks to be a great type and works his socks off.

“A real team player with having all that ability it is what you want.

“He is a star in the making and I would think looking at him and his personality and the way he reacts to things on the field he is not someone who will allow the big hit to arrive on his shoulders. I’m a big fan of his.”

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