Chelsea: Mudryk has now formed ‘strong bond’ with £87m duo at Stamford Bridge
The Ukraine forward has struggled to find his feet since his eye-catching switch
Chelsea are no doubt going through a tricky period on the pitch this term, though journalist Ben Jacobs has name-dropped one star who has formed ‘seriously strong relationships’ with Blues duo Ben Chilwell and Nicolas Jackson, while speaking to GIVEMESPORT.
After six games this campaign, Chelsea sit firmly in 14th place, having just won one game so far and that came against Premier League new boys Luton Town.
Chelsea news – Mykhailo Mudryk.
Such has been the case under Todd Boehly, it was a summer of change with new faces turning up at Cobham while the old guard were ushered out of the club at Chelsea. Having spent around the £400m mark on new signings, one would assume that their season would get off the flyer – but that has been far from the truth. Instead, Mauricio Pochettino’s current crop are taking their time to gel, especially in terms of putting the ball in the back of the net.
What took all football fans by surprise was Chelsea’s 1-0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday due to their contrasting positions in the domestic rankings – but is this the beginning of the Pochettino era?
Arriving in England is no easy feat and a plethora of Blues players have experienced that first hand after making the big-money move to west London, notably Mykhailo Mudryk. The Ukrainian forward has not enjoyed the most fruitful start to his spell at Stamford Bridge since after costing the club £89m back in January as he has failed to open his account thus far.
Still yet to score in a Chelsea shirt, the blistering wide man has amassed 23 games and, largely down to his eye-catching fee, has been subject to widespread censure from pundits and fans alike. But that could all be set to change as Jacobs has given a positive update on the 13-cap Ukraine international’s behind-the-scenes improvements.
Mudryk has to dismiss £89m price tag – Ben Jacobs
When asked about how Chelsea and Mudryk are combining to improve his on-field performances, journalist Jacobs shed light on how Chiwell and Jackson, who cost a combined fee of £87m per BBC Sport, are playing their part. He suggested the duo are taking the out-of-form 22-year-old under their wing, while the reliable reporter suggested it is important that he puts his eye-catching price tag behind him.
It’s not just Mauricio Pochettino either. Ben Chilwell and Nicolas Jackson have both developed increasingly strong and useful relationships with Mudryk to try and get him to sort of enjoy his football, enjoy the club and the lifestyle, rather than perhaps putting pressure on himself to perform and getting beaten up by every mistake, or every miss.
“So the task at hand with Mudryk is almost been to make him forget about that price tag and forget about the pressure of Chelsea and the Premier League, which, of course, is hard and just use those raw assets, particularly the pace. But with a little bit more intelligence, it’s very easy when you have speed of feet and speed of mind to move too fast sometimes and then when you get into threatening positions, not slow down and make the right decisions. And I think that’s been reiterated to Mudryk.”.
Will Mykhailo Mudryk start against Fulham?
In the previous four games, Pochettino has adopted a 4-2-3-1 shape which allows someone of Mudryk’s preferred position, on the flank, the perfect opportunity at harvesting much-needed game time. He has been named on the starting team sheet for three consecutive games which, in turn, could highlight a change of fortunes for the former Shakhtar Donetsk man.
With Raheem Sterling set to return after being rested for the Carabao Cup fixture, in which they won 1-0, Cole Palmer could be shifted onto the left-wing and, in turn, dropping Mudryk back onto the bench.
Palmer, who signed from Manchester City for £40m, bagged an assist for Jackson’s goal against the Seagulls and Pochettino was mightily impressed by the youngster’s performance and (via football.london):
Yes, maybe, yes. I’m so happy with his performance. After only a few weeks with us he was able to perform very well and fit in the team. For sure he is on my mind [for Monday].”
Mudryk was one of his side’s brightest stars in their most recent outing, scoring a 7.1 match rating per FotMob, and will be disappointed to return to the touchline on Monday night, especially given he received a standing ovation by the home crowd upon his 68th-minute substitution.
Will Chelsea invest in a new striker in January?
As alluded to earlier, much of Chelsea’s 2023/24 downfall can be attributed to their struggling nature to score goals. As such, it might be of interest to Pochettino and the Londoner’s higher-ups to head back into the transfer window when it reopens for business in January to snare a proven marksman.
Transfer insider Dean Jones recently told GIVEMESPORT their interest in Napoli and Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen could re-surface following recent events, though he did suggest it would take a figure in the region of £100m to lure him away from Naples.
Should Pochettino and Boehly delve into the market to alleviate their troubles in the final third, they will have to fend off the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United given that Football365 have reported that the English duo are both keen on securing his signature, too.