Frank Lampard has challenged Mason Mount to eclipse his own England career.
The 19-year-old received his first senior international call-up for the Nations League fixtures against Croatia and Spain having shone in Lampard’s Derby side.
Mount, on loan at Pride Park from Chelsea, is highly regarded in the England ranks – especially by manager Gareth Southgate.
After spending last season on a similar agreement at Vitesse Arnhem, Mount has already scored five goals for the Rams and has been an ever-present so far this campaign.
Mount revealed that Lampard had playfully told him he had made the senior squad before challenging him to beat the 106 caps he accrued playing for the Three Lions.
“He’s obviously got over 100 caps so he said to see if I can break that,” he said.
“It was the first thing he said to me. He’s given me loads of advice so far and I’m just trying to take it all in. It’s a long season so I’m going to learn so much off him.
“For me personally, learning off someone that’s done so well in the game, as a midfielder I can learn so much off him and I have done so far.
“I actually found out before he pulled me in the office. He was sitting in there with (assistant manager) Jody Morris… he said he was thinking of looking to drop me for the next game, and maybe give me a rest.
“He dropped that first but then he smiled and said, ‘No, I’ve just spoken to Gareth, you’ve been selected for the seniors’.”
Southgate’s appreciation of Mount’s talent became clear when he asked the youngster to train with his squad for four days before they jetted off to Russia for the World Cup.
Mount admits that experience only made him more determined to return on a more full-time basis as he looks to become the first outfield Championship player to earn an England cap since Cardiff’s Jay Bothroyd in 2010.
“One hundred per cent, coming in before the World Cup, training for four days, it made me hungrier to get into the squad,” he added.
“Being selected for the under-21s was a massive achievement for me and it was a goal.
“You get to know the staff, the players, being in and around the meetings, is it definitely a step up.
“They are playing Champions League football, they are playing PL football, they are the top, top players in the world so it is a step up.
“But when I get on the pitch I try to play my football and to be tactically and mentally ready.”