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Chelsea news: The Pochettino replacement that will unlock Mudryk

Mykhailo Mudryk, Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea, 2023/24

Mykhailo Mudryk could be one of the major benefactors of a change of manager at Chelsea, with the Ukraine international having struggled to find his best form under Mauricio Pochettino.

Mudryk’s role for Chelsea has been a peripheral one this season. Despite scoring five goals and picking up three assists, he is struggling for game time under Pochettino.

In the last seven Premier League matches, for example, he has remained on the bench on four occasions, not getting a minute in any of his side’s three victories.

Much of his Chelsea career has been like this. Although a big-money arrival as he joined from Shakhtar Donetsk for €70 million in January 2023, the 23-year-old, who is under contract until 2031, has struggled to justify that fee.

If Pochettino were to be sacked, though, there is the prospect of the best version of Mudryk being unlocked.

Mykhailo Mudryk, Chelsea
© IMAGO – Mykhailo Mudryk, Chelsea
Mudryk in the Carabao Cup final
© IMAGO – Mudryk in the Carabao Cup final

One of the two names on Chelsea’s shortlist to replace the Argentine is Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi, who previously claimed that the Ukrainian has Ballon d’Or potential.

If the Italian were to move to the London club, it would certainly provide Mudryk the perfect platform to shine, with the player having previously hailed the impact his former boss had on his career.

Mudryk on De Zerbi

Mudryk has explained how a phone call with De Zerbi while in Ukraine changed his outlook on football.

“To be honest, I almost didn’t believe my ears when he called,” Mudryk said. “It was exciting and interesting, I realised that this was a new challenge.

“It’s very nice that Mister decided to call me on his first day in Ukraine. I still remember how I listened to him and delved into what he was saying as never before, and that’s what I still keep doing. I am glad that we talk and get along. He immediately told me that he was aware of the way I play, and he would make me unlock my potential.

“He also said that he trusted me completely. Mister’s words mean a lot to me as this is almost the main thing that I wanted to hear.”

Chelsea’s next Premier League fixture is at home to Newcastle on Monday, with an FA Cup quarter-final to follow against Leicester at Stamford Bridge the following week.

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