Chelsea raise stakes in hunt for Arsenal target as Mudryk tells Pochettino why transfer is a must

Georgiy Sudakov of Ukraine during the UEFA EURO 2024 match at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan

Georgiy Sudakov of Ukraine

Arsenal could find themselves beaten to the punch in the hunt for a Ukrainian star for the second January window in succession amid claims Chelsea are stepping up their interest in Georgiy Sudakov.

The Gunners and the Blues locked horns last January in the hunt to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk, with Chelsea ultimately outbidding Arsenal and paying an eyewatering fee that will eventually top £88.5m once bonuses and add-ons have been activated.

With Todd Boehly and Co pinching the deal from Arsenal’s grasp at the 11th hour, the news came as a blow for Arsenal and resulted in Mikel Arteta and Co instead signing Leandro Trossard instead.

However, the form of the pair in the intervening months suggest it’s Arsenal who have benefitted most from Chelsea’s trigger-happy spending. Indeed, as things stand Mudryk has just one goal and two assists for the Blues from 25 appearances; Trossard, by contrast, has adapted well to his new surroundings, scoring four times in 29 games and adding 11 assists.

To that end, Arsenal probably have few regrets at the way events transpired given the success of the two players since, albeit there is a belief at Chelsea that Mudryk will become a top star once he adapts to his surroundings.

In the meantime, we exclusively revealed on Friday that Arsenal and Chelsea are ready to lock horns once again for another Ukrainian star in Sudakov.

The midfielder has been earning rave reviews for Shakhtar Donetsk, with his form alerting Juventus, who see the seven-times capped star as a potential replacement for Paul Pogba.

However, despite already making an approach to Shakhtar, we understand the Bianconeri are becoming increasingly wary of competition from Premier League sides for Sudakov.

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Mudryk advises Chelsea to snap up Georgiy Sudakov

However, it is not just Arsenal and Chelsea who are keen on the 21-year-old, with Brighton and Manchester City also keeping a close watch on his development.

And with a number of other top clubs across the continent now on his trail, it’s reported that Chelsea are ready to step up their chase for Sudakov with the player fast emerging as a top target for Mauricio Pochettino in the January window.

Now, according to the Daily Express, Mudryk, who knows the player well from his time at Shakhtar and in the  Ukraine national side, is urging Pochettino to bring his countryman to Stamford Bridge in the winter window.

The two men seem to share a telepathic understanding and now Mudryk wants the same at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking back in July after the Chelsea man assisted a goal for Sudakov, Mudryk stated: “Usually it’s the opposite – he gives it to me and I score.

“And now he scored a penalty, and I thought ‘I need to score more’. I do everything for my friend, I hope he just keeps scoring. I’m just promoting him!”

Now after being if he’d welcome playing alongside Sudakov at Stamford Bridge, Mudryk has stated: “That would be great.”

Chelsea believe best is yet to come from Mudryk

Quite how high Chelsea are willing to go for Sudakov remains to be seen.

However, the Blues do still have high hopes for Mudryk, who recently scored his first goal for the club in their 2-0 win at Fulham on October 2.

And the club, particularly Blues boss Pochettino, are a big believer in the winger’s talents.

To that end, they are adamant that the player will some become a big contributor at Stamford Bridge.

“It’s a massive change to come here and when you arrive in a team it’s not easy to settle because, being honest, too many young players arrive to a team that is not solid,” explained the Argentine.

“It’s about time and to have patience, to trust these guys and these young, talented players, and to build their confidence.”

Chelsea return to action after the international break with a televised game against Arsenal on Saturday 21 October.

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