Graham Potter told to drop Mykhailo Mudryk if Chelsea are to beat Tottenham
Former Arsenal man Paul Merson believes Graham Potter must drop two Chelsea new signings from his side if they are to stand any chance of beating Tottenham on Sunday.
Merson name-checked January arrivals Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke as two players who must miss out, insisting they are not improvements on the quality that was previously at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s spending under the guidance of co-owner Todd Boehly has been well documented and the two wingers were part of an unprecedented £323million January spree, with Mudryk costing a potential £88.5m including add-ons.
But the Ukrainian, like many of his teammates, has struggled so far, with Chelsea lying down in 10th position and Potter under huge pressure to turn results around.
“This is one of Chelsea’s biggest games of the season,” Merson told Sportskeeda on the clash at Tottenham Stadium on Sunday. “These are two teams that do not like each other.
“If Chelsea go and get beaten here, it adds more pressure on Potter. I want him to stay. I’m not sure if he’s the one bringing these players in.
“I’m watching these players and I wonder whether these signings are better than the players they’ve got. They are absolutely not.
“This is the starting XI I hope Potter goes with: Kepa, Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Benoit Badiashile, Thiago Silva, Enzo Fernandez, Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic, Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz and Joao Felix.
“If this team plays, they will beat Tottenham 3-0. If he plays Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke, they won’t beat Spurs.”
Merson went on to criticise Chelsea’s transfer policy, believing the club is losing its soul due to buying too many new players – which has made Potter’s position more difficult.
He added: “So why are they buying these players? They might very well offload players like Mason Mount and Conor Gallagher and profit off their sales because they are academy graduates. And then suddenly, they’ll figure out that the club has lost its soul.
“If Chelsea play the team that squared off against Southampton last weekend, they won’t win the game against Spurs. If Potter goes back to his tried and tested system, the Blues will beat Spurs all day long.
“What I love about Potter is that he has looked after the club and the players before himself. He is under major pressure.
“He could have played Reece James and Thiago Silva last weekend because he has a job to keep. But what did he do? He didn’t want to risk injuries for those players and chose to leave them out.”