Struggling Chelsea man tipped to become ‘best in the Premier League’ next season

Joe Williams
Chelsea star Mykhaylo Mudryk
Mykhaylo Mudryk celebrates scoring a goal in a Premier League match.

Gael Clichy would not be surprised if Chelsea attacker Mykhaylo Mudryk becomes “the best winger in the Premier League” next season despite his struggles this campaign.

The Ukraine international joined the Blues from Shakhtar Donetsk in January 2023 in a deal worth £88.5m with Chelsea beating Premier League rivals Arsenal to his signature.

Mudryk has failed to nail down a starting place every week at Stamford Bridge with the 23-year-old starting 18 of the club’s 38 Premier League matches, making another 13 appearances off the bench.

The Chelsea winger has scored just seven goals in 58 appearances in all competitions since joining the Blues but former Arsenal and France defender Clichy reckons he could become “the best winger in the Premier League” next term.

Clichy said: “Mykhailo Mudryk was about to sign for Arsenal for big money last year, and everyone was thinking he was going to come in and change the team completely, with his pace, and how good he looked with the ball at his feet, and everything like that. Then, you look at the year or so he’s had with Chelsea and some people might think, ‘thank God we didn’t buy him.’

“Does it mean the player is not performing? Maybe he’ll turn up next season.

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“We have to think about other things, off the pitch, such as what’s happening with him at home, coming from a place where things are really tough right now. Sometimes, we forget about this kind of thing and just focus on what the guy is doing on the pitch.

“My son, for example, will cut his finger at school, and I won’t feel good for the whole afternoon. So I can’t imagine what these guys are having to deal with. And when I talk about these guys, I’m talking about the people of Ukraine.

“We have a similar situation at Arsenal with Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has been extremely important for Arsenal since he signed for the club. And, all of a sudden, people are saying that maybe it’s time for him to move on, because he’s not giving us what we want anymore.

Gael Clichy: Why is he not performing now?

“Football is a machine which does this sometimes; we forget that outside of this game, there is life.

“I wouldn’t be surprised is Mudryk comes out next season and becomes the best winger in the Premier League, because he’s absolutely got all of the attributes which you want in a winger.

“Why is he not performing now? His club is not performing, maybe he’s not feeling himself, and maybe that will change next season. And maybe Zinchenko will feel better next season; we don’t know. We don’t know what these people are going through, and you have to keep that in mind.

“We all have quick opinions, and it’s very easy to judge when we haven’t got all of the cards in front of us.”

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