Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk is a player in demand, with Arsenal being heavily linked with a move in the January transfer window – but what kind of player would they be signing?
Mudryk has impressed at club level, both domestically and in the Champions League, while also winning eight caps for Ukraine in 2022.
And Fabrizio Romano reported earlier this year that Arsenal have asked for information about a deal for Mudryk ahead of the summer transfer deadline. Romano also added that Everton failed with a verbal offer of around €30million (£25.75million) for Mudryk.
The 21-year-old would provide Arsenal with further attacking options and manager Mikel Arteta would surely relish the prospect of coaching a player with such big potential.
So we’ve compiled together everything that Gunners fans need to know about Murdryk.
His career so far
Born in the Ukrainian city of Krasnohrad, Mudryk began his footballing education at the age of nine with Metalist Kharkiv before moving to Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.
He stayed for a further two years before moving to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2016, where he entered the club’s youth system. Mudryk was then given his first opportunities in senior football with a couple of loan spells at Arsenal Kyiv and Desna Chernihiv.
But the 2021-22 season would be a breakthrough one for the 21-year-old; Mudryk played 28 times for Shakhtar’s first team, bagging two goals and 10 assists in the process, putting Europe’s top clubs on high alert.
Mudryk has also forced himself into the international picture, playing and scoring in Ukraine’s friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach in May 2022 and the talented winger made eye-catching cameos in Ukraine’s World Cup play-offs against Scotland and Wales in June.
Premier League club Brentford were strongly linked with a move in the January window but failed to get a deal over the line, while Bayer Leverkusen, Everton and Nice were all rumoured to be interested in his signature.
But it appears Arsenal are now in pole position to secure a deal for Mudryk, with Arteta willing to meet Shakhtar’s asking price.
The presence of Mudryk’s international teammate Oleksandr Zinchenko should make a move to the Emirates very appealing and the ball is now in Arsenal technical director Edu’s court with Shakhtar seeking a deal worth more than £30million.
Style of play
Mudryk is known for his pace, acceleration, dribbling, versatility and creativity, whilst being two-footed means he can operate on either flank across Arsenal’s forward line.
This is a player that can score goals, but whose speciality lies in assists. Mudryk averaged 4.8 progressive passes per 90 minutes last season, one of the highest in his team, and can find that killer pass that can split open defences in a style reminiscent of Martin Odegaard.
In addition, he can also use his skill and pace to get past defenders; Mudryk attempted more than ten dribbles per 90 minutes last season with a success rate of over 50%.
Dubbed the ‘Ukrainian Neymar’ in some quarters, the youngster likes to exploit the width of the pitch and whip crosses into the strikers in a manner that will excite the Emirates crowd.
One of his major weaknesses is shooting, with just two goals for Shakhtar in 2021-22, and this will be deemed an area of improvement by Arteta and the coaching staff at Arsenal.
But Mudryk looks like a major talent and would certainly add to the wide options at the Emirates Stadium where he would compete with the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe for a starting spot.
Anyone that saw Ukraine's World Cup qualifier against Scotland will remember Mykhaylo Mudryk's scintillating cameo.
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) August 31, 2022
What he’s said
The winger has already expressed his desire to make a switch to the Premier League sooner rather than later. Speaking previously about Brentford’s interest in his services, he said: “I want to thank Brentford for the offers.
“To end up in the Premier League at 20 is fantastic but the final decision is down to the club president.
Mudryk also used the opportunity to pledge his future to the Ukrainian champions, saying: “Had the offer come in a year or 18 months ago, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought – I’d have asked the club to let me go without hesitation.
“To end up in the Premier League, aged 20 is amazing. But since Srna & De Zerbi [Shakhtar coaches] took charge everything has changed. I have support. I currently have a long contract and all of my thoughts are tied to Shakhtar.
But it seems like the player has had a change of heart; he was spotted ‘liking’ a post on social media linking him with Arsenal and a player of his ability would surely relish the opportunity of playing in England.
What they’ve said
” For me, Mudryk is the best player in Europe in this position after Mbappe and Vinicius Junior,” Shakhtar director Darijo Srna said at the start of August. “And he shows it. The goal he scored against Ajax… Look on YouTube – I don’t think that over the past 20 years you will find 5-6 such goals.
Asked how much he would cost, Srna replied: “It has no price. As I said, after Mbappe and Junior, I don’t see a third player other than Mudryk in this position in Europe.
“First, he is a decent guy. Second, professional. Thirdly, he loves Shakhtar. Yes, he said he wanted to leave, but now he is in his place and remains in the team. Mudryk has crazy potential.
“The market makes the price. If today’s Mudryk played at Ajax, then 100 million would be asked for him.”
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The article Everything you need to know about Arsenal target Mykhaylo Mudryk appeared first on Planetfootball.com.