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Mauricio Pochettino wants Chelsea star Mykhaylo Mudryk to ‘feel pain’ | Football | Sport

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has explained that he wants Mykhaylo Mudryk to ‘feel the pain’ of not starting in order to aid his long-term development. Mudryk has endured a rocky spell at Stamford Bridge since joining the Blues last year in a move that saw him become one of the most expensive players in the club’s history.

Mudryk has struggled to live up to expectations during his time at Chelsea, having scored just four times in 42 games for the west Londoners. As a result, he has failed to establish himself as a first-choice option and has not started in the Premier League since the turn of the year.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game against Manchester City, Pochettino suggested that ‘feeling the pain’ of sitting on the bench could be a good thing for Mudryk’s development as a player.

“It is part of the evolution, the development,” said the Chelsea boss. “I think that you need to feel sometimes the pain when they don’t play, young guys also, because it’s always so easy and it’s difficult to grow, be more mature and find out how to improve.

“I think the most important thing is how you are going to manage this situation and then it’s always up to him to push the limit, or reach the limit we think that they have. It’s always a massive challenge for our coaching staff.”

It was not the first time that Pochettino had spoken about Mudryk’s lack of starts, with the Argentine insisting earlier this month that he must improve in order to work himself into regular contention.

“It’s about the form during the season, if you keep your form and you are the best during every training session,” explained Pochettino after Chelsea’s heavy defeat to Liverpool.

“As coaching staff, we are a meritocracy. We are going to play with the players who are going to do their best on the pitch. I think he’s a young guy that arrived here one year ago. We know the circumstances around [the transfer]. Of course, he needs to improve.

“He has amazing quality and potential, but it’s a [team] game, it’s not tennis. We have players that need to perform in a group. If you see him, it’s amazing, but after, you need to adapt and play for the team. He needs to adapt, and all of that needs time.”

Mudryk has played 25 games for Chelsea across all competitions this season, scoring four goals and registering two assists. He was said to have been the subject of interest from Bayern Munich during the January transfer window, but a move did not materialise and he ended up staying at Stamford Bridge.

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