Mason has been one of two English stars to make a real impression since breaking into the Tottenham side this season along with Harry Kane. Both have been rewarded for some fine displays by England manager Roy Hodgson as they have been called up for the upcoming internationals with the Three Lions.
It’s something few could have predicted as Mason was out on one of his five loan spells as recently as last January, plying his trade down in League One with Swindon Town.Embed from Getty Images
An incredible turnaround has seen him catapult into the Premier League and he is now involved on the international stage, something Hazard is delighted about as he always knew he had what it took.
“I always thought if someone put their trust in him they would have a hell of a player,” the former Spurs midfielder told the Daily Star.
“But maybe I thought that time had passed for him at Tottenham. They’ve shown brilliant patience with him because if you’re 23 and you haven’t cracked it in the first team, you usually never do.
“The most important thing is when you get your chance, you take it. He’s shown a lot of guts and determination. He deserves his breakthrough.”
Mason has made 29 appearances for Spurs in all competitions this season as Mauricio Pochettino sees the tough-tackling star as an integral part of his side.Embed from Getty Images
He has started 22 Premier League games, an amount only bettered by Hugo Lloris, Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen so it seems he has cemented his place in the side for the long-term.
“I’ve watched every game he’s played and I’m hopeful I’ll still be watching him play for Spurs in ten years’ time,” Hazard added.
“I’m absolutely thrilled he’s been picked for England. Despite all his success he’s still a nice, polite young man.
“Hopefully he will make his family proud. I’m sure he will. I’m so, so pleased for him. I started coaching him when he was six.
“The sports centre we were in is now the Spurs training ground. It’s quite ironic he’s still training there.”
Mason made his first appearance in a Tottenham shirt back in November 2008 under Harry Redknapp in the UEFA Cup and had to wait another six years for his first chance in the top flight.
He scored his first Spurs goal in the League Cup win over Nottingham Forest back in September and was rewarded for a solid display with a first start away at fierce rivals Arsenal in the North London Derby a week later.Embed from Getty Images
He hasn’t looked back since and was rewarded with a new five-and-a-half-year contract in January that will keep him at the club until the end of the 2019-20 season.
Hazard is delighted to see Mason getting his chance but fears the current state of modern football will prevent more Kane’s or Mason’s being brought through.
“That’s modern football. There’s been a vast influx of foreign players since my day, when you could break through more easily.
“Clubs look for ready-made players now. Maybe that’s why it’s taken so long for him to break through.
“But I’m sure if there were more people who showed faith in young players in this country they would break through earlier than they do.”
Hazard wants to see Mason in the team for another ten years and the 23 year old’s performances this season would probably see most Spurs fans agree.