Rio Ferdinand thinks Mykhaylo Mudryk could struggle to make an impact at Chelsea unless they can get him into “space in behind”.
The Blues brought in a number of new players in the January transfer window with Mudryk arriving from Shakhtar Donetsk for £88.5m.
Arsenal were also interested in the winger but Chelsea were willing to pay more and landed their man in mid-January.
He had an extremely underwhelming home debut against Fulham on Friday night after impressing in a short cameo against Liverpool off the bench in their last fixture.
Chelsea boss Graham Potter revealed after the match that Mudryk was suffering with illness after withdrawing the Ukraine international at half-time.
On Mudryk, Ferdinand said on BT Sport: “It’s mad because I watched him in his first game against Liverpool and that 20 minute cameo was as good as I’ve seen.
“You have to have a bit of balance to it. Fulham are a hard team to play against at the moment, they set up defensively very well when they are out of possession.
“His game, from the clips I’ve seen, he’s at his best when there is space in behind to run. He played against a team yesterday that were in a bit of a low block.
“They condensed the pitch that made it more difficult for him so that’s something he’s going to have to work out in time.”
Ferdinand added: “The market there were people willing to pay that, so you can’t say that’s overspending. They (Arsenal) wanted him badly and I think there would have been other takers.
“The thing for me I was a record, big-money signing. As a player you don’t set the price and we judge the player and we criticise the player but they don’t take part in the money side of things.
“It’s unfortunate but anyone who costs £80m or £100m you have to say that’s overpriced.”
Former Man Utd defender Gary Neville also reacted to Mudryk’s poor performance, he told Sky Sports: “They’ve got so many options. Mudryk is £80m odd, he’s had a pretty poor first half let’s be clear, but he’s off!
“I suppose what happens when you’ve got those riches on the bench you may just get a little more itchy about getting your substitutes on quicker. Or maybe Mudryk has actually got an injury we don’t know yet.
“It’s interesting. Would he hook him at half-time? An £80m signing? I can’t think he would, but if he has it’s a brave one. It certainly won’t help the confidence of the new signing.”
After hearing Mudryk had an illness, Neville added after the match: “Mudryk wasn’t right the whole first half. I wondered at half-time, I said it would be a bit harsh for him to come off as an £80m odd signing if there wasn’t something wrong with him because you’re trying to put belief into players. But he wasn’t right, they had no rhythm in their performance at all Chelsea.”
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