Pochettino on Mudryk's reserve role: 'It's not tennis'

Mikhaylo Mudryk arrived at Chelsea as a major signing last summer, but the Ukrainian finds himself on the bench more often than he would like. Manager Mauricio Pochettino explains what is lacking.

SoccerDino, Website Writer
Published: 11:15, 4 Feb 2024

Mikhaylo Mudryk's journey at Chelsea has been marked by high expectations and a substantial transfer fee.

Chelsea made a significant investment in the 23-year-old Ukrainian forward, initially paying a fixed transfer fee of seventy million euros, with the potential for it to exceed ninety million euros. However, despite the hefty price tag, Mudryk has found himself playing a supporting role rather than a starring one at Stamford Bridge.

Mauricio Pochettino, the manager of Chelsea, shed light on Mudryk's situation and the reasons behind his limited playing time. Pochettino acknowledged that Mudryk had started in a crucial match, specifically referring to the League Cup semi-final against Middlesbrough. However, he emphasized that a player's form throughout the season and their performance in training sessions play a pivotal role in team selection. Pochettino's philosophy revolves around fielding the players who consistently excel in training, highlighting the competitive nature of the squad.

Despite recognizing Mudryk's immense talent and potential, Pochettino noted that football is a team sport, not an individual one like tennis. The implication is that Mudryk may need to adapt his playing style and mindset to better fit into the team's collective approach. Pochettino pointed out that Mudryk's style of play can be somewhat individualistic, and he emphasized the importance of players performing as part of a cohesive group.

In terms of Mudryk's statistics, he has participated in eighteen Premier League matches, often coming on as a substitute in nine of them. During his appearances, he has contributed with three goals and one assist. These statistics reflect Mudryk's ability to make an impact when given the opportunity, but it also highlights the competition for places within the team.

Mudryk's journey at Chelsea continues to be a work in progress, with the manager and coaching staff aiming to harness his potential and integrate him seamlessly into the squad. Pochettino's comments provide insight into the challenges faced by a high-profile signing and the emphasis on teamwork and adaptability in a top-tier football club like Chelsea. As Mudryk continues to develop and adapt to the team's dynamics, his role within the squad may evolve, presenting opportunities for him to fulfill his potential on the pitch.

Updated: 11:15, 4 Feb 2024