Chelsea giving £88m Mykhailo Mudryk ‘a breather’ after early struggles

Chelsea giving £88m Mykhailo Mudryk ‘a breather’ after early struggles

Chelsea are giving blockbuster January signing Mykhailo Mudryk a “breather” and time to “settle in” after an underwhelming start to life in England.

The 22-year-old was signed from under the noses of Arsenal during the January transfer window, with the Blues quickly agreeing a sensational £88million deal with Shakhtar Donetsk to snap up Mikel Arteta’s no1 target.

However, having gone two months without playing before making his debut, Mudryk has struggled to make an instant impact and is without a goal or assist in his first six games. Manager Graham Potter says the Ukrainian is being eased into the rigours of the Premier League.

“Every player wants to play and it's important that players play to improve, I think that's a fact,” Potter said. “But at the same time, it's not a straight road, it's not just a play and everything happens in a linear way. Sometimes you have to take a step away.

“Sometimes you just need a bit of training time, you need a breather. Lots of factors. Hopefully, he can benefit from the time he's had. It's not easy for him to just arrive in the middle of pre-season for him and to come into a new country, new club, new league, and just hit his absolute maximum level.

“It's regardless of the fee, I know people will look at the fee but it doesn’t change the situation he is in. So we're positive about him. We're positive about the future for him. But we need just to help them settle and help him understand what he needs to do to help us.”

Raheem Sterling has been one of the players starting ahead of Mudryk, but a muscle concern with the England forward could hand the January signing another chance to impress.

Mykhailo Mudryk (Action Images via Reuters)
Mykhailo Mudryk (Action Images via Reuters)

Potter added: "[Mudryk] certainly comes into the equation. He will be in the squad tomorrow and there is a chance he can play.”

In contrast, Kai Havertz has untouchable status under Potter and has played more than any other player at Chelsea this season. The manager said: “I do not doubt Kai. He’s a top player, delivers in the big moments and gives his best for the team all the time, runs himself into the ground.

“He probably benefited from playing a slightly different position but whenever you ask him to do he does his best. That’s a great starting point, he’s still young, he’s got all the attributes to be a top player, score goals, assists, help the team. He can be an all-around fantastic attacking player.”