Chelsea ‘really rate’ their new Mount Castledine as Pochettino calls him up

Chelsea may have found their new Mason Mount in Leo Castledine. The 18-year-old attacking midfielder has been a key figure for the Under-21s side this season and was recently handed his first senior matchday squad call-up for the Blues’ Carabao Cup clash with Blackburn on Wednesday night.

Castledine has also been training with the first team over the last few weeks, after being in and out of sessions last season. According to Football.London, the youngster is highly rated within Cobham by Chelsea figures and is expected to go far.

Castledine has represented England at every age group from Under-15s to Under-18s and captained Chelsea’s under-18s during the 2021/2022 season. The teenager started off his career at Chelsea before moving to Wimbledon at the age of seven.

There he developed into a tough-tackling centre-back but later moved up the pitch to midfield where he began to really excel. In 2020, he returned to his boyhood club where he has quickly become one of the brightest youngsters in Chelsea’s excellent youth system.

Speaking about the transition from defence to midfield, Castledine told the BBC three years ago: “Moving from defence to midfield was a very gradual process for me. It took about two seasons. I was a tough-tackling centre-back at the start of my U13 season and now, towards the end of U15 season, I am a centre midfielder and sometimes play as a number 10.”

At the time, Castledine said that his favourite players were Jack Grealish and Mount. “I dribble and create chances just like Grealish,” he said. Castledine also stated that he is a very similar player to Mount. 

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Last year, he was also likened to the Manchester United midfielder as well as Connor Gallagher by Chelsea Under-21 manager Mark Robinson. 

“In terms of energy, he is similar to Mason Mount and Conor Gallagher. I think he has more elements of Conor out of the two of them. He can be very dangerous when he arrives in the box, is really good in the air, and we have to make sure we keep working on that as well. He is definitely going to be a goal-scoring midfielder,” Robinson said.

Leo is the son of former Wimbledon and Wycombe Wanderers midfielder Stewart Castledine and ex-Homes Under the Hammer presenter Lucy Alexander. Stewart played for Wimbledon from 1991 until 2000, but his son opted to end his seven-year stay at the club in pursuit of Premier League football.

Castledine signed his first professional contract with The Blues in August 20 2022, on the day of his seventeenth birthday. Posting to Instagram, Castledine wrote: “A proud moment to have signed my first professional contract @chelseafc bring on the rest of the season!”

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