Merson slams new Chelsea signing for ‘showing nothing’ in his first five Blues appearances

Joe Williams
Paul Merson speaks about Chelsea

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson claims new Chelsea signing Mykhaylo Mudryk has “shown nothing” since joining the club in January.

The Ukraine international made the £88m move from Shakhtar Donetsk to Stamford Bridge in the winter window after looking like he was on the verge of a move to Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Mudryk contributed three goals and two assists in six Champions League matches for Shakhtar earlier this season but the 22-year-old has struggled with no goals or assists in his first five appearances in all competitions for Chelsea.

He looked good in a 35-minute cameo on his debut against Liverpool in January but Merson insists Mudryk has “shown nothing” since arriving in England.

“People think [Graham] Potter isn’t the right man for the job, but I think he is. For me, I think give him time,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“I don’t see it changing too quickly. I look at the players and I don’t get it.

“This Sunday is Chelsea’s biggest game of the season – it’s Tottenham. If he loses this one I’m not sure there is a way back because the fans will go ballistic.

“This game can change everything though – if Chelsea beat Spurs he can also be a hero. I like him as a manager but I look at the quality of the players and I question it.

“They brought Mykhaylo Mudryk for £88m and, bar a cameo of 20 minutes, he’s shown nothing. I mean nothing. You wouldn’t expect to need time to settle in at that price.

“The forward-thinking players are no better than the ones they’ve already got so what’s the point? You can’t tell me that Noni Madueke is a better player than Raheem Sterling or Christian Pulisic. He’s not.

“Why are you buying a load of players that aren’t better than what you’ve got? None of them improve the team bar Enzo Fernandez and the centre-half [Benoit Badiashile].”

Chelsea have won just two of their last 14 matches in all competitions with Graham Potter coming under intense pressure after their latest loss to rock-bottom Southampton.

Merson added: “It isn’t good at Chelsea at the moment. Potter is not looking after himself he’s looking after the team – which I quite like. Let’s be honest, it was a big football match on Saturday, Chelsea were playing bottom of the league.

“The best two players this season have been Reece James and Thiago Silva – he didn’t play either of those two players, he looked after them. He could have said ‘my job is on the line, I’m going to play you’ and worry about himself but he hasn’t.

“I think he needs time. I’m not sure these are his players, that’s the major problem. I can’t imagine in my wildest dreams these are his players. A lot of the players at Chelsea are the same, but no better than what was there before.

“You buy players to improve a squad and that hasn’t happened. I would give him until next season to have a pre-season, I just don’t know how it’s going to work with these players.”

“From the outside, it doesn’t look like these are players he would have gone and got. They are just a lorry load of youngsters put on seven and eight-year contracts. That isn’t the way it’s done in football.”

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