England midfielders Jack Grealish and Mason Mount have somehow been pitted against each other when it comes to playing for the national team and the Aston Villa dynamo has voiced his disapproval of the criticism targeted against Mount, saying it is “annoying” and believes the Chelsea star is “underrated”.
Mount has been a fixture in Gareth Southgate’s squad much more than Grealish, which in itself has drawn criticism from some quarters.
Although the pair appear to have similar qualities on the pitch, both were playing for teams at opposite ends of the league table last season with Aston Villa fighting hard to stay out of relegation while Chelsea languished in the top five.
Grealish himself does not see Mount as a threat in any way and feels as the latter is deserving of more praise for the exemplary work he does.
“I love Mason,” he said. “It’s a bit annoying actually because he probably gets a bit of stick about it at times but I’ve always been close with him.
“I think he’s an absolutely terrific player. I don’t even feel like we’re fighting for the same spot to be honest.
“If anything I think Mason’s underrated and he deserves all the credit he gets and I think that people who know about football will understand just how good he is.”
Similarly Mount himself is also insistent that Grealish is not a rival and that they can play in different positions in the same team.
He said: “Jack? You know what he can do. He’s a world-class player that can create and score goals and that’s what we need in any England team.
“I’d never look at it as a rivalry. We are two different players and we do different things.
“We are kind of different players. We can play in different roles.
Grealish has scored five times in eight games for a Villa side that have started the season impressively, having also put in a stellar performance as they stuck three past Arsenal at the Emirates last time out.
Mount meanwhile is playing in a side that is now bursting with talent under a resilient Frank Lampard following several summer arrivals at Stamford Bridge.