Mykhailo Mudryk doubles down on Roberto De Zerbi stance as next Chelsea manager hint dropped

Mykhailo Mudryk
-Credit: (Image: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Mykhailo Mudryk has made his feelings clear on the man he might like to see succeed Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea. The Ukraine international showed glimpses of his quality under the former Blues boss as he contributed to nine goals in all competitions with niggling injuries impacting his minutes.

Following the departure of Pochettino, Mudryk, like many of his team-mates, sent a message via social media to the Argentine. On his Instagram story, with a photo of himself and Pochettino embracing, Mudryk wrote: "Thank you for everything."

With Enzo Maresca and Thomas Frank among those linked, it is likely a reunion occurs when Chelsea appoint their new manager. Cole Palmer and Maresca were both at Manchester City as recently as last season while Frank could be set for an immediate reunion with set-piece coach Bernardo Cueva who agreed to join the Blues next season.

As for Mudryk, he appears hopeful of playing under former Shakhtar Donetsk boss Roberto De Zerbi again after his shock exit from Brighton was confirmed prior to the final day clash against Manchester United. As part of his exit, it was agreed a healthy compensation fee would go to the Seagulls if a club moved to appoint him with new reports suggesting that has occurred.

Instagram page @londonwillalwaysbeblue reposted the news, reported by Calcio Napoli, and asked the question: "Could it be Chelsea?" Considering his links to De Zerbi, Mudryk certainly appears hopeful it is as he liked the post. While it is certainly a subtle hint at what Mudryk wants, the 23-year-old has not been afraid to admit just how highly he regards the former Brighton head coach.

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"To be honest, I almost didn't believe my ears when he called," Mudryk said of the conversation he had with De Zerbi once he became Shakhtar's new manager. "It was exciting and interesting, I realised that this was a new challenge.

"It's very nice that Mister decided to call me on his first day in Ukraine. I still remember how I listened to him and delved into what he was saying as never before, and that's what I still keep doing. I am glad that we talk and get along. He immediately told me that he was aware of the way I play, and he would make me unlock my potential.

"He also said that he trusted me completely. Mister's words mean a lot to me as this is almost the main thing that I wanted to hear." De Zerbi has also not hid his admiration for Mudryk with the Italian making his thoughts clear earlier this season.

"Me and my staff have a special relationship [with Mudryk]," De Zerbi has said of the Chelsea ace. "He is like a son to us. I hope he stays on the bench and doesn’t play [when Brighton play Chelsea] but I love him. We hope the best for him... from the next game.

"For any young player it is more difficult to adapt to another country and another style of football. Chelsea have many big players and I think it is a normal situation for him, he has to adapt and to understand his life has changed but I think he is good, smart guy. He can become a top, top player."