When you compare the Chelsea squad of 2019/20 with the Chelsea squad of 2020/21, it's chalk and (blue) cheese.
Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell have been added to bolster the back line, and Timo Werner has greatly improved the attack, but perhaps the most exciting part of this summer has been the upgrades to the creativity behind the striker.
Hakim Ziyech's arrival was mouth-watering enough, but the £70m deal to sign Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen was the icing on the cake. Chelsea now have an elite source of goals and assists from midfield.
Well, actually, they had a solid source of that last year in Mason Mount, the 21-year-old Englishman who made an outstanding impact in his debut season, bagging eight goals and six assists in all competitions.
Has he been replaced by Havertz? That's the vibe Christian Falk has given off, suggesting that Mount is 'not happy' about having such an expensive player come in.
Now, it's hard to imagine that Mount, who told the Daily Mail in January that 'the mentality I have means I won't be pushed over easily', actually feels like that, but it's reasonable to suggest that there will be a slight concern from Mount. One spot in midfield looks to be automatically gone now.
The thing with Mount is that it'll just make him twice as determined to command another.
While his may be the first time that Mount has been faced with such an expensive threat, it's not the first time he's dealt with this pressure. At academy level, Chelsea were never scared of throwing six-figure sums at teenagers to join the youth setup, yet Mount is the one who emerged.
"For me, it's about having that same attitude I have had since I was six and making sure I never lose it," he said. "You just have to fight. You know Chelsea can always buy £60m or £70m or £80m players that are world class. They want to come here and take my place.
"I will fight for my position and keep working hard. At a club as big as Chelsea you have to have that mentality. It always stuck with me. It's why I am here in the first place."
There's no guarantee that Havertz and Mount will actually be direct competitors. Both bring such outstanding versatility that they don't necessarily need to be a pair of central midfielders. If one plays centrally, one can play out wide, and you won't get any drop-off in performance from either.
If anything, the addition of Havertz will make Mount a better player. Not only will the Englishman enjoy a boost to his already-intimidating determination, but he'll know the kind of performances he has to put in to keep his place.
In Havertz, Chelsea have signed a player who bagged 18 goals and nine assists in all competitions last season - a slow year. That's obviously what the Blues want from their attacking midfielders, and Mount will know that. He'll know that he now needs to be an 18 goal, nine assist player at worst.
That obviously doesn't come overnight. There's a difference between saying you want to score goals and actually scoring them. It takes real work rate and desire to learn from the best, and that's what Mount is all about.
In Lampard, Mount has got one of the greatest goalscoring midfielders of all time. In Havertz, he's got one of the greatest of the current era. That's not a bad duo to learn from.
Mount is level-headed enough to look after himself, but it's important not to write him off if things don't go perfectly early on. He has earned time to rise to the challenge, and he looks more than willing to put in the required effort.
With a bit more practice, the pair may well form a dynamic duo in the heart of the midfield, or one might claim another position. Nobody knows how this'll work out, and that's all part of the fun.
Source : 90min