Chelsea have a long-standing record of investing in exciting tricky wingers, from Arjen Robben to Eden Hazard. Mykhailo Mudryk is next in line.
Todd Boehly doesn’t exactly have the greatest of track records when it comes to big-money signings, but all of the early signs look promising around their new Ukrainian star.
Many people have predicted this move to flop. After all, the player himself seemed to have his heart set on a move to Arsenal and £89million is no drop in the ocean, even for a side like Chelsea.
Mudryk could easily fade into the background like so many at Chelsea have done before, but he has the swagger and natural ability to become a star at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea this season have lacked a goal threat, it’s no surprise that they have scored less goals than any other top-half side. What’s perhaps worse than that though is they lack personality and charisma on the pitch.
That’s where Mudryk can provide the spark.
Chelsea teams of years gone by have been built around characters and personalities. From Gianfranco Zola to Diego Costa, Stamford Bridge is the breeding ground for eccentric personalities to thrive.
Graham Potter’s side had the better of the first 45 minutes against Liverpool and had a goal ruled out after a tight VAR offside call. Despite their promising passages of play, they still couldn’t open up Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Mudryk was introduced in the second half and he showcased just what Chelsea have been lacking this season. The 22-year-old played with a fearlessness that has been foreign to this side this season.
In just 35 minutes of being on the pitch, he completed two dribbles, rinsed James Milner for pace and looked like he had been playing in the Premier League all his life.
His lightning-quick feet and ability to wriggle his way out of this tight situation proves that there is much more to come from Mudryk in a Chelsea shirt.
Twinkle toes ✨
Terrific quick feet in the box from Chelsea debutant Mykhailo Mudryk who just misses the target! pic.twitter.com/kARRNHB94B
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 21, 2023
After the match, Potter admitted that he had to manage his minutes, but he was left impressed. The manager told BT Sports: “He’s not played football for a while, so we had to manage his minutes. You can see his quality. He had a good impact.”
He had a total of 28 touches throughout his 35-minute cameo, which was only three touches less than Kai Havertz managed in 81 minutes. Mudryk wants the ball and he can make things happen in an instant.
Steven Gerrard even drew a comparison between Robben and Mudryk after the match. Fellow pundit, Rio Ferdinand was impressed adding: “The thing that I liked about him was we’ve all seen clips of explosive pace, but I saw soft feet there as well.
“Somebody who has a good weight of pass, good decision making in the final third, a calmness running at speed. Those elements there make it a frightening proposition for a full-back when he gets into full flow.
“This is only his first minutes in a month or so, so who knows what he’s going to be producing after this but it’s an exciting moment for Chelsea fans. I’m sure there’ll be Arsenal fans sitting there saying ‘oh my days how did we let that one go?'”
Mudryk looks like the real deal and we think he is the talisman that Chelsea have so desperately been lacking lately.
By Ben Stewart