England midfielder Mason Mount has revealed how his European Championship isolation helped convince him to get the coronavirus vaccination.
Mount, together with Ben Chilwell, was forced to isolate for 10 days after being in close contact with Billy Gilmour, their Chelsea team-mate, who tested positive for coronavirus following the draw with Scotland.
Having started the first two games against Croatia and Scotland, Mount missed the match against Czech Republic completely while he was isolating and only made the substitutes’ bench for the last-16 victory over Germany, having just returned to group training.
Under present Covid-19 protocols, people who are fully vaccinated do not have to isolate after coming into contact with somebody who tests positive, and that fact helped Mount make up his mind.
“I’m double-vaccinated now,” he said. “Going through that experience, missing the games, a top game, kind of did have an effect on my decision.”
It has been reported that at least five England players are yet to be vaccinated and before Mount only Tammy Abraham had agreed to reveal his vaccination status, while others such as Jesse Lingard, Luke Shaw and Fikayo Tomori insisted it was a private matter.
Harry Kane, the England captain, is yet to speak on the subject, but Mount said: “I don’t think you can force anyone to get [the vaccine], but, for me, going through that experience, it did make me want to get it, and quite quickly. But I think for [other] players, it’s down to their decision how they feel about it.”
Mount is one of a number of players, including Kane, who is expected to come back into England manager Gareth Southgate’s starting line-up for tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Hungary at Wembley, after appearing as a substitute in the comfortable victory over Andorra.
Mount, who is on the Ballon d’Or shortlist, made it clear that England expected to go a long way at next year’s World Cup in Qatar, but Southgate has warned they will need to be better than they were in Euro 2020 to reach another final.
Having watched the finals of the Nations League, which was won by France and also included Spain, Italy and Belgium, Southgate said: “We know we want to keep evolving, we knew we wanted to evolve after the World Cup. Same after the Nations League and we want to do the same post-Euros.
“What got us to the final of the Euros won’t be enough. The four teams that were in the semi-finals [of the Nations League] this week – you saw the quality of the games, you saw the level of the players. We’ve got to make sure we are in that bracket of teams to be challenging. To do that we have to constantly be improving.”
Mount said: “We’ve always been very humble in the way we are, but also massively confident in what we can do. We’ve shown in the summer what we are capable of achieving, and we know that. Now we’ve had that experience, many of us for the first time at a major tournament, we can keep pushing and raise that level, to raise that bar to one that achieves something massive for the country.”
On his Ballon d’Or nomination, after winning the Champions League with Chelsea last season, Mount said: “As a kid growing up, you look at the Ballon d’Or and how that is the top of the top from a personal view. To be in the top 30 in the world at the moment, to be nominated in that, is a dream come true.”
Mount faces competition from Phil Foden in midfield. Southgate said of his selection issues: “I have a headache and commit a crime every time I pick a team. We have such strong competition for places. There were lots of players who did their own confidence and reputation the world of good the other day and that is pleasing to see.”
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