There are some debuts that stick in the mind, for whatever reason. Mario Stanić scored a ridiculous goal in his first game for us back in 2000, and I’m far from alone in remembering that to this very day. Eden Hazard tried a backheel and fell over embarrassingly in the 2012 Community Shield; remember that very clearly as well. João Félix got sent off in his first outing just the other day, which might live in lore for a while (especially if he sticks around). Demba Ba’s debut even inspired us to do a Top 12 list back in 2013.
Had Mykhailo “Misha” Mudryk converted the chance 10 minutes into his Chelsea career, where he danced around like three Liverpool defenders, wriggling through what must’ve been imaginary space because there certainly didn’t seem to be any room to actually maneuver there, he would have certainly become immortalized immediately.
Alas, the shot was just a few inches wide to the left and it hit side-netting instead of getting its just reward in the back of the net. (And then Mudryk missed a more presentable chance from a Hakim Ziyech cross a few minutes later, but let’s not worry about that for now.)
Mudryk vs Liverpool, a pure talent pic.twitter.com/UGRzaVIJZf— GonçaloDias17 (@goncalo_diass17) January 21, 2023
Sill, the 22-year-old’s eagerly anticipated debut didn’t disappoint. And while it could’ve been legendary, we’ll just have to settle for pretty, pretty, pretty ... pretty good. Considering that he had just a couple training sessions with the team (and clearly wasn’t on the same page with anyone just yet) and that he hadn’t played competitive football since the Ukrainian Premier League went on winter break in November, his 35 minutes on Saturday were indeed satisfactory at the very least.
More to come, clearly, and it should be glorious.
And it better be, because we’ve already got a great song for him — a slightly awkward fourth line (too long) but an earworm if there ever was one!
He flew in from Ukraine,
On Boehly’s private plane,
Mudryk said to me
Have Arsenal won the Champions League?
So I told him no,
You know the place to go
Then he said to me,
I wanna lift number 3!