Pundit slams Chelsea star after he blocks Ukraine team-mate’s shot against England

Joe Williams
Chelsea winger Mykhaylo Mudryk puts his hands on his hips

Stuart Pearce was left unimpressed by the performance of Chelsea winger Mykhaylo Mudryk as Ukraine lost 2-0 to England at Wembley on Sunday.

The Three Lions beat Ukraine thanks to first-half goals from Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka with Gareth Southgate’s side winning their opening two matches of their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

And the England players – who mainly play in the Premier League – came up against some familiar faces in the form of Mudryk, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitalii Mykolenko on Sunday.

Mudryk signed for Chelsea in the January transfer window with the Blues splashing out around £88.5m on the Ukrainian with Arsenal eventually dropping out of the race for his signature.

However, the 22-year-old has not managed to hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge with just one assist and no goals in his seven appearances to date.

And the Chelsea winger failed to impress again on Sunday, this time for Ukraine, as he struggled to get the better of Kyle Walker and England’s defence.

One of his main contributions during the match at Wembley was to block an effort from Ukraine team-mate Ruslan Malinovskyi.

TalkSPORT commentator Jim Proudfoot remarked: “The ball has hit Mudryk. It’s come off his backside and it’s great defending for England there…”

Mudryk started on the left wing for Ukraine – who had just three shots all match – against England and Pearce insisted that the Chelsea man needed to switch wings as he’d “done nothing” in the game.

Pearce said on talkSPORT: “If I was Ukraine, I would get Mudryk on the opposite side of the pitch. Because at the moment, he’s up against somebody that has got his number.

“Walker has certainly got his number. He’s done nothing in the game Mudryk, and he’s arguably one of their better players. It’s only because he’s up against Walker that he’s been so ineffective.”

Chelsea boss Graham Potter admitted earlier this month that Mudryk needs to “settle” at Stamford Bridge before he can show his best form.

Potter told reporters: “Every player wants to play and it’s important that players play in order to improve. That’s a fact.

“But at the same time, it’s not a straight road. It’s not just play and then everything happens in a linear way. Sometimes you have to take a step away, sometimes you just need a bit of training time, just need a breather. Lots of factors.

“Hopefully (Mudryk) can benefit from the time he’s had. It’s not easy for him to arrive in the middle of pre-season for him. To come to a new country, new club, new league, and hit his maximum level. I know people look at the fee, but it doesn’t change his situation that he’s in.

“We’re positive about him, we’re positive about the future for him. But we need to help him settle and help him understand what he needs to do to help us.”

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