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Chelsea transfer news: The stat that proves Mykhailo Mudryk needs to be replaced

Cameron Smith
Mykhailo Mudryk, Chelsea
© ProShots

Mykhailo Mudryk has been one of the most disappointing Premier League signings over the past decade.

The Ukrainian arrived at Chelsea with considerable hype after the Blues hijacked Arsenal’s deal to sign him, but the Gunners will be laughing now after landing Leandro Trossard following their failure to sign Mudryk.

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While the former Shakhtar Donetsk star has struggled at Stamford Bridge, Trossard has shone as a rotation option at Arsenal and it’s clear that Mikel Arteta’s side won this transfer merry-go-round.

Despite this, Mudryk evidently has extremely high potential and his raw skill set means that if it ever clicks, Chelsea will have a frightening player on their hands.

His pace is electric and can cause problems for any defender in the world, while Mudryk is often quite neat in tight spaces when cutting into central areas.

However, he has some serious flaws in his game.

In the simplest of terms, Mudryk often doesn’t know where to be on the pitch. His runs in behind are often poor and his general movement on the pitch is representative of a player unsure of what his role entails.

This was seen during the first-half of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg against Middlesbrough – a game in which Mudryk was substituted at half-time.

Enzo Fernandez was seen berating Mudryk for a lack of movement in behind on a number of occasions, with the winger static on the touchline rather than making himself available for a pass.

Even his goal against Newcastle in the previous round of the competition only came about due to Kieran Trippier’s mistake at the back post – Mudryk didn’t even attempt to attack the goal until Trippier’s poor touch.

Mykhailo Mudryk, Chelsea
© ProShots – Mykhailo Mudryk, Chelsea

This is why Ben Chilwell was often preferred as a left winger at the start of the season, with the Englishman genuinely possessing more goal threat than Mudryk.

The former Shakhtar Donetsk forward rarely sniffs out an opportunity for a tap in at the back post and his tally of just four Chelsea goals is proof that he lacks a real desire to find the back of the net.

Mykhailo Mudryk’s flaw in possession

The Athletic’s Liam Twomey delved into the statistics behind Mudryk’s poor start to the 2023-24 season and found some rather alarming news.

“Mudryk, in contrast, has lost possession within five seconds of receiving a pass on 50 occasions in 807 Premier League minutes this season,” he wrote.

“That equates to 5.5 times per 90 minutes, a higher rate than any other winger in the division. Overall, he has lost possession 39 times per 100 touches in 2023-24, also the worst rate of any attacking midfielder or winger with more than 500 minutes played in the league.”

This is a key reason why Chelsea are often unable to sustain attacks when Mudryk is on the pitch; the Ukrainian simply gives the ball away far too frequently.

It ramps up the pressure on Moises Caicedo in midfield, due to the fact he faces counter-attacks on a regular basis, and ensures Chelsea’s threat is sometimes neutralised when Mudryk has possession.

Mudryk has the fundamental tools to become one of the Premier League’s most dangerous wingers, but he doesn’t have the football IQ to make a difference at the top level right now, especially against deep blocks.

Chelsea must focus on forcing Mudryk to analyse his performances in order to ensure he begins to understand his role as a winger under Pochettino.

A loan move seems a rather foolish suggestion given he cost an initial €70m, but Mudryk may well benefit from regular football week-in, week-out without the pressure of performing for the Blues.

Furthermore, if Chelsea have aspirations of challenging for the top four within the next 18 months, then Mudryk may not be a player they can depend on unless he experiences a rapid development curve.

Signing a proven replacement may be a smart idea, as result, although the Blues have invested heavily in Mudryk and may prefer watching his progress from a close distance.

Rafael Leao would be the most obvious replacement, although Leroy Sane could represent a smart acquisition if Chelsea are serious about signing a Mudryk upgrade in the short-term.

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