Ian Wright and Ashley Cole blast 'disgraceful' Mason Mount treatment amid criticism of Chelsea star in England team

FORMER England internationals Ian Wright and Ashley Cole have both launched staunch defences of England star Mason Mount.

The Chelsea ace has been on the receiving end of criticism, particularly from those who prefer Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

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Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has done his best to play down the comparisons.

And the two ITV pundits believe that the stick thrown Mount's way is 'disgraceful'.

Before last night's comfortable 3-0 win over Ireland, Wright, 57, said: "You know what? I think it’s disgraceful the way people have talked about Mason Mount getting his berth in front of whoever.

"Mount is in there on credit and what he’s able to do. It’s unfair the amount of stick he gets for being chosen by Gareth."

Chelsea legend Cole, 39, added: "You can’t compare them [Grealish and Mount].

"The quality that Mason brings to not just this England team but the Chelsea team. He brings that energy, the willingness to run and graft.

"I’ve heard Roy [Keane] mention it a lot of times about that desire and work ethic: it’s a must and it is a standard.

"He brings that week in week out but with quality as well so I think it’s unfair to compare them."

Southgate recently made a joke at Aston Villa fans' expense over their impassioned campaign for Grealish, 25, to be playing more for his country.

He told The Telegraph: "I suppose on that you’re referring to Mason, whose only crime is not to be Jack at the moment.

“I’m also aware I should talk about Mason because then it keeps the memes going of me talking about Mason.

"So we have got to fulfil all those requirements just to keep the Villa fans happy, especially.

“What would they be able to do on social media if they didn’t have that opportunity? So, yes, of course I’m aware Jack’s playing well.”

The Three Lions next face Belgium on Sunday in the Uefa Nations League.

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