A former Premier League boss has had to backtrack on his claims about Chelsea winger Mykhaylo Mudryk following the January signing’s poor first six months in England.
Arsenal pushed hard to sign Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk in the January transfer window. Indeed, Gunners sporting director Edu held several rounds of discussions with his Shakhtar counterparts to try and agree a deal.
Arsenal were willing to break their transfer record by paying up to £80million for him. However, they were beaten to the capture by London rivals Chelsea, who finalised an £88.5m deal with Shakhtar on January 15.
The attacker then signed a huge eight and a half year contract with Chelsea which is designed to keep him at the club until June 2031.
Chelsea fans had high expectations for Mudryk following his great performances in Ukraine, and due to the huge money their club had spent on him.
However, the 22-year-old struggled in the second half of last season, failing to register a goal in 17 appearances and putting up just two assists for his team-mates in that time.
Former Sunderland and Brighton boss Gus Poyet, who is currently in charge of the Greek national team, has had to complete a big U-turn on his prediction regarding Mudryk.
During a recent interview, as cited by the Daily Mail, Poyet said: “Last year I made a mistake, and I’m not afraid of saying it.
Chelsea signing has failed to match ‘outstanding’ potential
“When Chelsea signed Mykhaylo Mudryk, I thought it was outstanding,
“I thought, ‘wow, what an unbelievable player!’ Then I remembered what happened to me and loads of other foreign players when they first move to England – everyone is different and we all need different amounts of time to adapt to football.
“We think we are good enough and say, ‘tomorrow I will play and be the best player on the pitch’, but football is different and life is different – we all adapt in our own times.
“I think new players and foreign players – including myself when I played – they need to be careful, because I know what can happen to all of them.”
Arsenal will be happy with how the Mudryk situation has worked out. Not spending a potential £88.5m on him has allowed them to go on a big spending spree this summer instead.
They have brought in the Ukrainian’s former Chelsea team-mate Kai Havertz for £65m. And he could soon be followed to the Emirates by midfielder Declan Rice and centre-back Jurrien Timber.
Arsenal have agreed deals for both players and have also scheduled their medicals. Rice will cost an initial £100m, plus a potential £5m in add-ons. Timber, meanwhile, will cost an initial £34.3m, plus a potential £4.3m in add-ons.