Thursday night away at Old Trafford against Manchester United proved to be another disappointing evening for Chelsea.
Despite having nothing to play for in terms of silverware or European qualification, knowing Mauricio Pochettino is set to take charge next season, Chelsea’s squad have their reputation, as well as their futures, all to play for.
And one player who will be at the club next season, but has struggled since being signed in January, is right-sided winger Mykhailo Mudryk.
After signing from Shakhtar Donetsk for an eye-watering £88.5m (Sky Sports), Mudryk, 22, was tipped to become one of the Premier League’s most exciting attackers. Things have yet to go to plan for the 22-year-old though. Despite featuring in 17 matches since his bumper move to Stamford Bridge, the former Shakhtar star has so far failed to open his Chelsea account.
It isn’t just goals the wide-man has struggled with though. His confidence looks shot, and after another poor individual performance on Thursday night, fans will probably be starting to wonder when they will get to see the player they thought the club had signed six months ago.
What has Stan Collymore said about Mykhailo Mudryk?
However, despite being arguably the most disappointing signing of the winter window, former Liverpool attacker Stan Collymore believes Mudryk, who is likely to benefit from Pochettino’s arrival, has the potential to turn his fortunes around but has acknowledged that if his dire form continues for another 12 months, then Chelsea should begin to worry.
“He’s got outrageous pace and shows a clear willingness to learn and improve, so from that perspective, he deserves the opportunity to get embedded properly in the team, go off, have a holiday, come back for pre-season and go again next season,” Collymore said in an exclusive interview.
“The biggest problem he has is trying to live up to his price tag. Chelsea massively overpaid for him; spending £88.5m on a player who had played less than 50 games for Shakhtar Donetsk was a huge gamble. He’s just a baby in terms of professional football – he’s basically a youth player that has only recently been promoted to the first team. If he had come through Chelsea’s academy and endured the same six months, no one would really be questioning it, but the fact he’s been signed for nearly £100m shows just how crazy the transfer was.
“Mauricio Pochettino is coming in though and he has a style of football that you would assume will benefit Mudryk, so if the Argentine can’t get a tune out of him and we’re talking about him, in the same way, this time next year, then I think it’ll be time to worry – but as for right now, I think he still has huge potential and next season I do expect him to show vast improvements in his individual game.”
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