Chelsea supporters on social media were enormously excited at around 1pm on Sunday when they found out the lineup Mauricio Pochettino had picked for their match against AFC Bournemouth. There was no sign of Moises Caicedo, with the club's record signing out through an injury, but that did not dampen their moods and spirits because a certain Mykhailo Mudryk was in the team.
It was a first start of the season for the 22-year-old winger, who many have tipped to have a breakthrough campaign at Stamford Bridge following a slow start after being signed in the January transfer window. Mudryk was one of European football's most sought-after talents when Chelsea got their hands on him at the start of the year but his numbers since signing do not make for great reading.
Nine starts, 876 minutes altogether, no goals and two assists for Mudryk reflects a pretty poor start to life at Stamford Bridge. And it is telling right now just how low his confidence levels are.
But trying to regain the confidence he showed on a weekly basis while playing football in his homeland of Ukraine can only come with playing more football. Playing himself out of this 'rut', so to speak, and Sunday was a big step in the right direction for Mudryk.
Not only did he play over an hour – coming off the field on 64 minutes on the south coast – but he made his impact known. Albeit he was not the difference-maker in terms of Chelsea actually scoring a goal, but the Ukrainian showed glimpses of what he is capable of when playing off the left-hand side.
To put it rather simply, Mudryk creates two of Chelsea's biggest opportunities of the match at the Vitality. The winger links up really well with Nicolas Jackson in the first-half and then the striker hits the outsideRead on football.london