‘Chelsea have a Xavi, Iniesta kind of player’ — former Chelsea manager says

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Ruud Gullit during his days as a Chelsea player. Photo: Chelsea FC

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Former Chelsea player-manager Ruud Gullit has hailed the progress of Chelsea and Manchester City midfielders Mason Mount and Phil Foden.

Gullit believes that the duo have what it takes to succeed in Barcelona and likened them to Barca legends Xavi and Iniesta.

According to Gullit, Mount and Foden represent a new breed of English footballers.

He wrote in a column for BBC Sport: “The world is looking for the next Lionel Messi but, please, don’t compare either Foden or Mount to him. It’s not fair, because it’s not possible to be another Messi.

“He is a total one-off. They can be their own players, and have their own great careers but they won’t do what Messi has done.

“When I chose Foden as my Premier League player of the year, I said he was in Messi’s category, but I meant in the type of player he is, not the level he is at.

“Foden could have been a Barcelona player, like Messi, Andres Iniesta or Xavi, and he is not a typical English player. Mount is the same.

“I think it’s important to realise why there are more players like this coming through at English teams, because it has not always been like this.

“The typical English player when I came to play here in 1995 was a big, strong player with head wounds and bruises and things like that. That’s over.

“This new generation is different, they are all technical players. Smaller, skilful, agile. Wonderful footballers. You want them in your team, and you want to get them on the ball.

“England have produced some of those before, of course, but I don’t think they were always given a proper chance in the Premier League. Now they are trusted more.

“You are lucky to have them, but it is also lucky that they have had the right coaches. With Foden and Mount it was Pep Guardiola, Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel who gave them their opportunity.”

About the Author

Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.