Mykhaylo Mudryk insiders and Chelsea ‘shoot down’ claims involving Mauricio Pochettino | Football | Sport

And that’s despite the Blues essentially hijacking Mudryk’s negotiations with Arsenal, with Mikel Arteta wanting to sign him to boost his side’s Premier League title bid last season. He arrived however, amid the ongoing invasion of Russia in his homeland, a factor that has now been cited for his struggles in the past 13 months.

According to TEAMtalk, sources close to the 23-year-old believe critics have underestimated the psychological effects of the conflict on Mudryk. They also seemingly dismissed reports that Pochettino feels the player “doesn’t have the football brain” to be a regular starter for his team.

The Argentinian is said to be willing to remain patient with the player in the hope we can yet fulfil his world class potential. The club have reportedly turned down the offer of a loan move from Bayern Munich, and will only consider a sale if they can recuperate a substantial amount of the fee paid to Shaktar.

The decision to offer Mudryk an eight-and-a-half year contract could well work against the club though. Designed to combat Financial Fair Play regulations, the deal means Chelsea will be obliged to keep Mudryk on his £100,00-a-week wages for as long as he remains in west London, irrespective of his on-field impact.

Back in October, Mudryk finally ended his goal drought for Chelsea on his 24th appearance, opening the scoring in a 2–0 Premier League win against Fulham. But it’s his stoppage time equaliser against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup quarter-final that could yet prove one of the most important goals in the club’s season.

Pochettino’s side won that game on penalties duly went on to beat Middlesbrough over two legs in the semi-final, and now face Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday. But Mudryk is unlikely to start against the Reds, having been on the bench for last week’s two league games at Crystal Palace and Manchester City.

Indeed, it was at Anfield last month where Mudryk came in for widespread criticism after blasting over the bar from close range in the first half. He was duly hooked off at half-time by Pochettino, with the visitors proceeding to lose 4-1.

His difficulties at Chelsea haven’t affected his place in the national squad though. In October, he scored his first goal for his country in a 3-1 win over Malta, and is set to be involved in Ukraine’s Euro 2024 play-off semi-final in Bosnia in March.

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