Mykhailo Mudryk’s Chelsea career hasn’t quite taken off in the way we might have imagined it would after his 30-minute debut off the bench at Anfield against Liverpool, with the 22-year-old failing to replicate that level in the 200 or so minutes since (4 appearances, 3 starts). Those sample sizes are all very small obviously, and Mudryk has lacked match fitness after being on winter break for two months. And of course the entire team’s having issues, too, so he’s hardly alone in underperforming.
The good news is that even at Anfield, the Mudryk we saw was only about a third of the player Mudryk can be, as Shakhtar Donetsk sporting director Darijo Srna has claimed on a recent podcast appearance.
“Don’t worry about Mykhailo Mudryk, you will enjoy watching him. Like in the first game he played against Liverpool where he came into the side, this is 35 per cent of Mykhailo Mudryk.”
The bad news is that even if and when we get something closer to the 100 per cent of Mykhailo Mudryk that we can get, he cannot do it all by himself. He may be great, but football is a team sport at the end of the day. One player might carry a team more than others (such as Eden Hazard at several points in the past decade for us), but you still need a supporting cast.
“Mykhailo Mudryk is, for me, one of the best three players in Europe in his position after Kylian Mbappé and Vinícius Jr, the next one is Mykhailo Mudryuk.
“[But] Mykhailo cannot play alone, the whole of Chelsea is not in a good mood, they are not playing amazing football, they don’t have good results but they have a lot of new players and they need time. Sometimes you don’t have time, that’s the problem, but Mykhailo, don’t worry, Chelsea fans. Mykhailo will bring a lot of happiness to Chelsea fans.”
-Darijo Srna; source: Football Ramble via Metro
The mood certainly isn’t great, and the team’s cohesion often nonexistent. The left side (non-)combination of Mudryk and Marc Cucurella was especially a glaring issue the other day.
Just another thing that we need to figure out, stat!
There were opportunities to pass to Mudryk (or cross) in situations vs West Ham & Liverpool, however, that he did not take. This is down to Cucurella wanting to play safe, both teammates relatively unfamiliar with each other's abilities. This will improve.pic.twitter.com/pUMtcqelr7— CFC Central (@CFCCentral3) February 15, 2023