Former Liverpool star Jamie Redknapp has told Sky Sports that Ryan Mason’s performance on Sunday will be key in Tottenham Hotspur’s bid to overcome Chelsea and win the League Cup.
The 23-year-old midfielder has been one of the highlights of Spurs’ season so far, breaking into the first team after spending much of the previous campaign on loan at Swindon Town in League One.
Not many would have envisaged such an impact from Mason, but under manager Mauricio Pochettino the Tottenham youngsters know that they will be given the opportunity to stake their place in the club’s long-term plans.
Mason can be described as energetic, comfortable in possession and hard-working without the ball, and Redknapp believes that he will be key for Tottenham against Chelsea on Sunday..
“Ryan Mason’s performance will also be a key factor in how Tottenham fare," the former Spurs midfielder told Sky Sports. "I’m a big fan of him and his energy has been so important for Spurs this season.
“But how will he match up against his Chelsea opponents in midfield in the biggest game of his career so far? He stood out on New Year’s Day but, two months on, this is another test entirely.”
Ryan Mason v Nemanja Matic
|Shots per Game||Key Passes per Game||Tackles per Game||Interceptions per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Touches per Game||Accurate Passes per Game||Appearances|
As per the stats provided by Opta Stats, the importance of Nemanja Matic for Chelsea can be demonstrated by his incredible figures in that defensive midfield role.
While Mason offers more of a goal threat, the Blues’ midfielder trumps in five other key areas, including tackles, interceptions and accurate passes.
However, the Spurs star is younger than Matic, and he has the ability to mix it with the very best.
The game against Tottenham was the only time Jose Mourinho’s side have lost this season with Matic in the starting line-up, an incredible feat and one Mason can take great pride in despite playing just 14 minutes of that match.
On Sunday, Matic is suspended meaning the Blues will have to adapt, and Mourinho will know that whichever player comes in faces a tough ask in beating Mason in the all-important midfield battle.