Wrapped in the Ukrainian flag, Mykhailo Mudryk — the generally accepted English spelling of his first name has been updated to y-and-i rather than y-and-y — strode out at half-time on Sunday to lap up the applause of Stamford Bridge, for the first of hopefully many, many, many times in the next eight and a half (8.5!) years.
The length of that contract (also reported as 7.5 years with a club-option but called 8.5 straight up by the Chelsea official website) was almost as eye-catching as the size of the transfer fee, €70m base with €30m in potential add-ons, and was the clearest example yet of Chelsea taking full advantage of FFP amortization to spread out transfer fees and stay within regulatory limits while spending record amounts. Incidentally, we can thank Brexit in part for this, evidently allowing English clubs to agree longer-term deals than the EU-standard 5 years (or sometimes 6, like in Spain).
That’s certainly strong commitment from the club, especially to the player even more so than the manager — ironic timing, that, given the amusingly haughty “end player power” narrative espoused by the club this week — and that isn’t lost on Graham Potter, keen observer of the human condition, either.
“I’ve had enough to worry about before thinking about contract lengths. I’ll leave that to the club and what’s right for the club. I’ll try to support as best I can.
“I’m looking forward to working with him. If I’m here for the remainder of his contract, then we’ll all be happy.”
Potter Power? More like Mudryk Muscle! Speaking of which, the man’s literally never missed a leg day.
In all seriousness, Potter, who reportedly played a big part in convincing the 22-year-old to give up on Arsenal and make better choices in life, expects big things from the club’s record January signing — as we all should.
“He’s a player with a big future, exciting, one vs one, he’s very direct, he attacks the back-line, can go into wide areas but also affects the goal. A really exciting player and I think our supporters will really like him.”
“[We] want to do better, want to play better, want to play better and get more points and wins. You need a squad that is balanced, that has the right amount of competition, and I think that [Mudryk] brings that. Then it’s my job to make the selections.”
-Graham Potter; source: Football.London
Mudryk’s arrival hasn’t gone unnoticed outside of SW6 either, with even our old pal José Mourinho referencing it just a few hours later after AS Roma’s 2-0 win over Fiorentina, which kept them right in the thick of things of the Serie A’s top-four race.
“We need to find a solution, we can’t just buy Mudryk for €100m!”
-José Mourinho; source: Football-Italia
Another team who can’t buy Mudryk for €100m, or any amount now, are of course Arsenal, who will have to make do with an eight-point lead at the top of the table instead. Still, I’m sure it grates a fair bit to lose out on a target who seemingly really wanted to go there, and to lose out to the team halfway down the table at that ... but Arteta assures that he’s never been fired he’s always quit, and Mudryk obviously just wasn’t right for his club. Awww.
“We have excellent players and we want to improve our squad in this transfer window — when I say we I mean, myself, the coaching staff, the staff players, the board and the ownership — we all want to do that. But we will do the deals we can do and the ones we feel are right for the club.”
-Mikel Arteta; source: Fooball.London
Everything’s in place for M-and-M to become an absolute Chelsea legend.
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime...
A word with the new man! pic.twitter.com/cRBbaS8wkj— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 15, 2023