Mykhailo Mudryk, the Ukrainian winger, has been struggling to make his mark in English football since his big-money move to Chelsea in the January transfer window. The 22-year-old was pursued by both Chelsea and Arsenal, but the Blues eventually secured his services for a whopping £89 million. However, since his arrival at Stamford Bridge, he has only been on the winning side once in his seven appearances for the club. This has led to Arsenal fans claiming that their club dodged a bullet by not signing him.
Mudryk had a chance to show what he is capable of when he played for Ukraine against England in the Euro 2024 qualifier on Sunday. However, he failed to impress and was substituted after 60 minutes. Despite receiving high praise from the former head of the Shakhtar academy, Andres Carrasco Carrillo, who called him “a genius” in the match day programme, Mudryk’s performance against Gareth Southgate’s side did not live up to the hype.
To be fair, it was almost impossible for anyone on the Ukrainian team to shine against England, who were far superior. Mudryk had one shot off target, no key passes, one dribble, did not win any free-kicks, and was dispossessed four times. It was evident that Mudryk was frustrated when he was substituted just before he could make any significant contribution to the game.
Despite Mudryk’s struggles, there is no doubt that he has real talent. However, it is taking longer to reach the surface than most of us were expecting. At the moment, his massive price tag is weighing him down, and he is struggling to deal with the disappointment of another poor performance. Perhaps he needs more time to adjust to English football and to find his place in the team.
Mudryk had hoped to join Arsenal and even admitted in an interview that he was dreaming of a move to the Emirates. However, Chelsea’s billions gazumped the league leaders, and Mudryk now finds himself playing catch-up in mid-table, unsure of his place in Graham Potter’s pecking order. It remains to be seen if he can live up to his potential and justify his high transfer fee, but right now, Arsenal must be laughing while Chelsea are crying.