Mykhailo Mudryk is "the most talented and unique player in the world", and patient work on the training ground will see Chelsea get the best out of the winger.

That is the view of Serhiy Palkin, Shakhtar Donetsk's chief executive who struck the £89million deal which took Mudryk from Ukraine to Stamford Bridge last January.

Like many of the big-money recruits of the Todd Boehly era, Mudryk has struggled for consistency since arriving in west London, after emerging as one of Europe's hottest prospects at Shakhtar.

Between the start of 2021-22 and his move to the Premier League, Mudryk averaged a goal involvement every 70 minutes in the Ukrainian top flight, scoring nine goals and adding 13 assists in just 23 appearances during that spell.

However, Mudryk has just three goals and four assists to his name in 34 Premier League appearances, and he attracted more criticism for an ineffective substitute appearance in Sunday's EFL Cup final defeat to Liverpool.

Palkin, however, remains convinced of the 23-year-old's talent and feels he simply needs close attention from Mauricio Pochettino and his backroom staff. 

"I can tell you that for me, Mudryk is the most talented and unique player in the world," Palkin told Stats Perform.

"I believe that in order to get from Mudryk the maximum, as they anticipate, you need to invest in him. These investments are not money. 

"It's time for the coaching staff to communicate with him and to work closely with him. He is a young boy, he changed from the Ukrainian Championship to the Premier League. 

"It's a completely different world, with completely different levels, completely different football. 

"Therefore, I believe that if the coaching staff dedicates him some time, he will return three, four, or five times more."

One former Shakhtar man who made a far more immediate impact in the Premier League is Roberto De Zerbi, who led Brighton and Hove Albion to Europa League qualification last term while implementing a daring style of play. 

The Seagulls are in the hunt for European qualification again this season, and they rank second in the Premier League for average passes per sequence (5.01), third for build-up attacks (127) and joint-first for high turnovers resulting in goals (seven).

After overseeing Brighton's dramatic rise, De Zerbi has been tipped to move on to pastures new, with both Barcelona and Liverpool suggested as possible landing spots for the Italian.

Palkin has no doubt De Zerbi is destined for the top, saying: "I can tell you that he did a lot for Brighton, he did brilliant work for Brighton. 

"I believe 100 per cent that he can jump into a top club tomorrow, even today, 100 per cent. The most important thing is he must accept the proposition.

"I believe he has a lot of propositions, including in Italian football and English football. Therefore, everything, everything, everything depends on him."

Shakhtar Donetsk delayed Barcelona’s hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stages after claiming a shock 1-0 win in their Group H clash in Hamburg.

Danylo Sikan headed the only goal in the 40th minute from a cross by Giorgi Gocholeishvili, while Shakhtar had a second effort from 18-year-old Newerton ruled out for offside.

The defeat ended Barcelona’s 100 per cent start to the group and enabled Porto to pull level on nine points at the top after they beat 10-man Royal Antwerp 2-0.

Evanilson’s early penalty and a late strike from Pepe sealed victory for the hosts and left the Belgians, who had Jurgen Ekkelencamp sent off in the 52nd minute, still hunting their first points.

Manchester City succeeded where Barca failed and duly booked their spot in the next stage after cruising to a 3-0 win over Young Boys at the Etihad Stadium.

Erling Haaland’s 23rd-minute penalty sent them on their way and superb strikes from Phil Foden and Haaland again sealed victory over the Swiss side, who had Sandro Lauper sent off early in the second half.

Also in Group G, goals from Xavi Simons and Lois Openda proved enough to give RB Leipzig a 2-1 win at Red Star Belgrade.

Atletico Madrid served up another Champions League nightmare for Celtic with both Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata bagging braces in a 6-0 win at the Metropolitano.

Celtic were left incensed by the sending-off of Daizen Maeda after just 23 minutes following a VAR review of his challenge on Mario Hermoso.

Atletico’s win moved them top of Group E after previous leaders Feyenoord fell 1-0 at Lazio, for whom Ciro Immobile scored the only goal of the game in first half stoppage time.

Goals from Niclas Fullkrug and Julian Brandt proved enough for Borussia Dortmund to sink Newcastle 2-0 in Germany and move to the top of Group F.

Fullkrug scored in the opening period and Brandt’s effort 11 minutes from time dealt a potentially fatal blow to the Magpies’ hopes of progression to the knockout stages.

Paris St Germain lost top spot after a 2-1 defeat at AC Milan despite former Inter defender Milan Skriniar firing them in front after just nine minutes.

Rafael Leao equalised for Milan within three minutes and Olivier Giroud hit what turned out to be the winner five minutes into the second half.

Group H leaders Barcelona moved a step closer to reaching the Champions League knockout stages after a 2-1 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Barca made it three wins from as many matches through goals from Ferran Torres and Fermin Lopez before they held on in the second half after Heorhiy Sudakov’s 62nd-minute strike.

Xavi’s men produced moments of quality with a rotated side ahead of Saturday’s El Clasico against Real Madrid at Nou Camp in LaLiga.

Barca nearly had a dream start after seven minutes. Oriol Romeu’s high press forced the turnover in Shakhtar’s box which allowed Lopez to jink inside and shoot, but the midfielder’s effort was kept out by Dmytro Riznyk.

Barca’s persistence paid off when they opened the scoring in the 28th minute through Torres.

Lopez picked up another dangerous position inside the box and his effort cannoned off the post into the path of Torres who smashed home.

VAR initially deemed the goal offside but the ruling was overturned after Lopez held his run long enough.

And the potent Lopez doubled Barca’s lead in the 36th minute in spectacular fashion.

The La Masia youth product marauded into the open space from midfield, beat his man with a feint before producing a rocket on his right foot which saw the ball smash off the post into the back of the net.

The goal, which was Lopez’s second of the season, was completely deserved after the 20-year-old dazzled in the first half under the lights at Nou Camp.

The LaLiga champions started where they left off in the second half and came close through Joao Felix, who was denied by Riznyk from a tight angle.

The visitors persisted in their plan of playing out from the back which encouraged blue and red shirts to swarm them in possession as they struggled to deal with the relentless Barca press.

But Shakhtar stunned Xavi’s men when they struck against the run of play to make it 2-1.

Felix lost possession and Shakhtar advanced into the Barca half through Irakli Azarovi who picked out the rapid Sudakov and he ghosted past Romeu and held his nerve with a blasted effort past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Moments after Lopez hit the post in the 68th minute, his headed effort was ruled offside as Barca tried for a third.

Levi Colwill believes Chelsea team-mate Mykhailo Mudryk can be “one of the best in the world” and hopes the winger can now kick on after scoring his first goal for the Blues.

Mudryk has struggled to tie down a starting spot at Stamford Bridge since his big-money move from Shakhtar Donetsk in January and, prior to Monday’s trip to local rivals Fulham, had not managed a single goal for his new club.

However, he finally broke his goalscoring duck with the opener in a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage and Colwill, who set up the goal with a fine pass, hopes it will do the 22-year-old Ukraine international the power of good.

“It was amazing, I’m so happy for him (Mudryk), luckily I found him,” Colwill said.

“Of course he deserves the goal. He’s a great player, he could be one of the best in the world and he needs to kick on from here and hopefully he can push on.”

Mudryk, who has now started the last three Premier League matches for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, was replaced at half-time against Fulham due to a niggle but defender Colwill felt the £88million man showed exactly what he is capable of before being forced out.

He added: “It’s been tough for him since he joined but during the first half he was amazing and I think everyone can see the qualities he has. We see it all the time in training, he’s such a good player.

“To come here and bring it for the first half was amazing and he has to build from it.

“He’s got everything. Everything you want as a winger.

“It’s tough coming from Ukraine to Chelsea and it’s a pressure he might not have experienced with the different culture too. So it’s always going to be tough but soon we’ll see the player he is.”

Mudryk’s 18th-minute opener against Fulham was quickly followed by an Armando Broja goal as Chelsea claimed only their second Premier League win of the season.

Broja started ahead of the suspended Nicolas Jackson up front and netted his first goal since returning from the cruciate ligament injury he suffered last year.

“I’m so happy for him, it was a long time he was out injured. He came back and has been working so hard to come into the side and score which is the best way to come back,” said Colwill, who believes having increased competition for places will help push both Broja and Jackson.

“One hundred per cent. They’re both great strikers so to have that battle day in day out for starting positions is going to be good for both of them, they’re both going to learn and when they come on the pitch they have got to take their chances.

“Armando has got everything, he’s a problem. I’d hate to play against him. He’s big and strong and takes his chances.”

Fulham boss Marco Silva felt his side were not aggressive enough which allowed Chelsea to strike twice in two minutes and claim west London derby bragging rights.

He said: “It’s a disappointing result for us in certain moments and in terms of performance. The first half was not aggressive enough on and off the ball. We were flat in some moments and were not dynamic.

“They got behind Harrison Reed, Joao Palhinha, our midfield and caused some problems for us.

“When the game was balanced they scored the first goal and we were too passive the way we reacted to Colwill’s cross and after that we were punished by another mistake by ourselves (Tim Ream).”

Shakhtar Donetsk have filed a complaint against FIFA to the European Commission, claiming a ruling allowing their foreign players to suspend their contracts has cost them €40million.

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year, FIFA permitted foreign players based in the country to suspend their contracts until June 2023, allowing them to seal short-term moves elsewhere.

Claiming those measures will likely be extended through to June 2024, Shakhtar – who have previously seen an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed – pledged to continue to fight the ruling.

A statement from the club's chief executive Serhiy Palkin said: "Action has been taken to file this complaint to the European Commission, given the importance of Shakhtar undertaking transfer market trading with players within the European Union.

"Therefore, it is entirely legitimate and fair to bring this complaint before the EU Commission since FIFA's actions violate EU competition law.

"The over-reaching measures applied by FIFA led to the massive loss of player transfer income and a depletion of essential club revenues amounting to approximately €40million.

"We expect the European Commission to understand and appreciate the extreme financial pressures being placed on our club due to FIFA's actions – at a time when our nation is being ravaged by an illegal war."

Feyenoord head coach Arne Slot hailed the "unreal" clinical display from his side after thumping Shakhtar Donetsk 7-1 in their Europa League last-16 second leg.

Thursday's contest at De Kuip was far less evenly contested than last week's 1-1 draw, with Santiago Gimenez getting the ball rolling for the hosts inside nine minutes.

Orkun Kokcu scored twice before half-time and Oussama Idrissi likewise after the restart, before Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Danilo completed the rout by the 66th minute.

Kevin Kelsy pulled a goal back late on, but it was of no real consolation to the Ukrainian visitors as they bowed out of the competition.

It marks the second-biggest win for a Dutch side in a major European competition at this stage or beyond, after Ajax's 10-0 win over Omonia Nicosia in the 1979-80 European Cup.

Reflecting on a memorable result for his side, Slot said: "It was unreal how we put the match to bed so quickly.

"Normally we need more chances to score, so compliments to my players for being so efficient this evening.

"Shakhtar had a good spell in the first half, and you saw how our players blocked their shots in the box. They were so determined to get a good result."

Feyenoord are now unbeaten in 16 matches this calendar year, with their thumping victory against Shakhtar coming three days before facing fierce rivals Ajax.

Slot's side are three points better off than Ajax at the summit ahead of Sunday's Eredivisie showdown at the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

"Of course this victory helps for the duel with Ajax," Slot said. "This gives a lot of confidence. 

"But I also see that Ajax have regained the level they had at the start of the season. Ajax have a good team again."

Manchester United have been drawn to face Real Betis in the Europa League's round of 16, while Arsenal will battle Sporting CP for a quarter-final spot.

United came from behind to clinch a 2-1 victory over Barcelona at Old Trafford on Thursday, and their reward for a 4-3 aggregate triumph over the Blaugrana is a tie against another Spanish opponent.

Having not lifted any silverware since winning this competition in 2017, United are in the hunt for four trophies this term, though Erik ten Hag's men will be tested by a side sat fifth in LaLiga.

Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini has faced United on four previous occasions in European competitions, with all four games finishing goalless during his time with Villarreal (in the 2005-06 and 2008-09 Champions League group stages).

Premier League leaders Arsenal will face Sporting after Ruben Amorim's team thrashed Midtjylland 5-1 on aggregate in the knockout round play-offs.

Sporting have progressed from each of their previous six ties against English teams in the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup/Europa League, with all six coming against different teams.

The other standout last-16 ties see Juventus meet Freiburg, while Jose Mourinho's Roma will take on Real Sociedad as they bid to follow up last season's inaugural Europa Conference League triumph.  

Feyenoord, who Roma beat in the final of that competition, have been paired with Shakhtar Donetsk, while surprise Bundesliga challengers Union Berlin will face Belgium's Union Saint-Gilloise.

Six-time winners Sevilla – the most successful club in UEFA Cup/Europa League history – will face Fenerbahce, while Bayer Leverkusen will take on Ferencvaros. 

The first legs of the last-16 ties will take place on March 9, with the group-stage winners hosting the return fixtures one week later. 

Europa League last-16 draw in full

Bayer Leverkusen v Ferencvaros
Juventus v Freiburg
Manchester United v Real Betis
Roma v Real Sociedad
Sevilla v Fenerbahce
Shakhtar Donetsk v Feyenoord
Sporting CP v Arsenal
Union Berlin v Union Saint-Gilloise

Leicester City have completed a short-term deal for Brazilian winger Tete.

The 22-year-old left Shakhtar Donetsk following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year, joining Lyon in March after players in the country were given permission by FIFA to suspend their contracts.

After eight goals and nine assists in 30 appearances for the French side, Tete has made the move to the Premier League, although his new club confirmed he is due to return to Shakhtar at the end of the season.

Upon signing for the Foxes, Tete told the club's media: "I'm really happy to be here. I've had a look at the pitch and the stadium, it's beautiful and I can already imagine what it'll be like with a lot of fans. I hope to score a lot of goals and assists. I hope they'll all be happy to see me play, I'm happy to be a Fox."

Tete began his career at Gremio and has represented Brazil at under-20 and under-23 level.

He could make his debut for Brendan Rodgers' side in their trip to Aston Villa on February 4.

Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin said Arsenal had been in contact with Mykhaylo Mudryk for a month and a half before they approached his club.

The 22-year-old completed a move to Chelsea on Sunday, with the Blues able to complete a deal that could reach £89million (four billion UAH) from under the noses of Arsenal.

Palkin explained he had met officials from the Gunners "three times", but Chelsea were ultimately the only club that met the financial demands of the Ukrainian side.

Speaking to The Athletic, Palkin said: "Before Chelsea arrived, I did not know they were close, because I communicated with Arsenal in the same way as I had with Chelsea... I met Arsenal more times than Chelsea.

"Therefore, before this last meeting, Arsenal was close, or a little bit closer to this deal than Chelsea."

He spoke of Arsenal's lengthy attempts to convince the player, adding: "From my point of view, [this] is why everybody talked about Arsenal. It is because Arsenal contacted the player almost one and a half months before they contacted us.

"Can you imagine, for example, to have [Arsenal manager] Mikel Arteta, [Arsenal left-back and Ukraine international] Oleksandr Zinchenko and the sporting director [Edu] calling you, to have Arsenal calling you almost every day, every two days, every three days?

"If you talk about Chelsea, they called me at the end of December and asked if they can contact Mudryk because they are interested in him and want to talk with him. I said, 'No problem, you can contact him'.

"The first time they contacted him was around the end of December or the start of January. They contacted the player and the agent of the player and they met the financial conditions.

"Why did many people around it have the impression that Mudryk was going to Arsenal? It is because Arsenal contacted him [first] and then Mudryk started to watch some games of Arsenal.

"But negotiations are negotiations. When you didn't close everything, when you did not [close] the last dot, then you cannot finish the deal. It was just an outside visual impression that Mudryk [was] close to Arsenal."

Palkin also confirmed Arsenal had also been willing to offer an overall figure of £89m, but that their final bid only included £62m up front, with £27m in add-ons.

"When we met Chelsea, we stayed all together," he added. "For you to understand the context, it was for nine or 10 hours. They invited the player and explained to us the whole project.

"We realised that, yes, if you look right now, Chelsea have some kinds of problems but it is normal because they have a transition period from one owner to another. It is understandable.

"They would like to change a lot. So when they explain to you the whole story and you look for the next two, three, four, five years, then you see they have a serious project.

"I believe they will build one of the best clubs in the world because I am telling you, they are very serious in all directions: sports science, the stadium side, the commercial side, on all things. For us, they looked very ambitious."

Shakhtar Donetsk have donated one billion UAH (£22.4million) to the war efforts in Ukraine following's Mykhaylo Mudryk move to Chelsea.   Chelsea confirmed the signing of Mudryk on Sunday in a deal that could reach £89m, making it the most expensive transfer in Ukrainian football history.   Around a quarter of that will go to helping with Ukraine's war with Russia, while Chelsea have also agreed to play Shakhtar in a friendly in Donbas as part of the agreement once the war is over.   Reigning Ukrainian champions Shakhtar are currently unable to play at their 50,000-capacity Donbass Arena in Donetsk due to the conflict in the region.   In an open letter released on the club's website on Monday, Shakhtar president Rinat Akhmetov gave more details on the Mudryk transfer and paid tribute to the Ukrainian army.   "First of all, I want to thank the whole civilised world for helping Ukraine," he said. "Thanks to the Ukrainian army, the Ukrainian people and the huge support of the entire civilised world, we can talk about Ukrainian football today. Only together we will defeat the evil that has come to our home.   "I have mixed feelings today. On the one hand, I am happy for Mykhaylo and proud of him. This guy proved by his own example that the impossible can become possible thanks to talent and hard work. I am absolutely sure that all of Europe will applaud Mykhaylo's bright, beautiful playing.   "On the other hand, I have never hidden that my dream is to win European trophies. This means that players like Mudryk should be invited to our club, our Ukrainian championship, and win European trophies with such players, and not cheer for them, even when they play in the best clubs in the world.    "Unfortunately, this is not possible now, because there is a vile, unjust war waged against us by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. But I am convinced that we will win. And we will play a friendly match with Chelsea at Donbas Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine. We must do everything possible to bring this day closer.

"That is why I decided to launch the "Heart of Azovstal" project – to help the defenders of Mariupol and the families of fallen soldiers. Their feat has no analogues in modern history. It is thanks to them, their sacrifice and courage in restraining the enemy in the first months of the war that today we all feel the inevitability of the Victory of Ukraine.

"Today, I allocate 1 billion hryvnias to help our soldiers and defenders, as well as their families. They will be aimed at various needs – from treatment, psychological assistance, prosthetics to the implementation of targeted requests. 

"In order to comply with the principles of transparency, a professional, independent team will be formed, which will interact with the defenders of "Azovstal", their families, patronage services, and volunteers. We are in eternal debt to our soldiers!"

New signing Mudryk was paraded in front of supporters at half-time of Chelsea's 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday after signing an eight-and-a-half-year deal at Stamford Bridge.

The Ukraine international is considered to be one of the hottest prospects in world football and he is looking forward to beginning a new chapter in English football.

"I'm so happy to sign for Chelsea," he told Chelsea's official website. "This is a huge club, in a fantastic league and it is a very attractive project for me at this stage of my career. 

"I'm excited to meet my new team-mates and I'm looking forward to working and learning under Graham Potter and his staff."

Shakhtar Donetsk president Rinat Akhmetov was left with "mixed feelings" after Mykhaylo Mudryk joined Chelsea for a record transfer fee on Sunday.

Chelsea beat off competition from Premier League leaders and London rivals Arsenal to sign Mudryk for reported fee that could reach £89million (€100m).

That fee is the highest received by a Ukrainian club, with the 22-year-old signing an eight-and-a-half-year deal at Chelsea.

The Ukraine international is considered to be one of the hottest prospects in world football and Akhmetov was sorry to see him go, but is looking forward to seeing Mudryk thrive at Stamford Bridge – where he watched the Blues beat Crystal Palace 1-0 on Sunday.

Akhmetov told the club's official website: "I have mixed feelings: in order to win European trophies, I should invite such footballers as Mudryk to our club, to our Ukrainian league and not send them to the best championships and the best clubs in the world.

"However, I am sure that Mykhaylo will win respect, sympathy and love of all connoisseurs of world football with his speed, his technique, his impressive and beautiful play.

"Mykhaylo Mudryk is a Shakhtar graduate. The player joined the Academy of the Miners in 2016 and debuted with the senior team in the autumn of 2018 at age 17. 

"Mudryk became the Ukrainian Super Cup winner (2021) together with the team. Fans recognised Mykhaylo Mudryk as Shakhtar Player of the Year twice (2021, 2022).

"FC Shakhtar thanks Mykhaylo for impressive play, good and important goals, and significant contribution to the team's victories. We wish you success in the strongest league in the world, many trophies and personal awards, great career achievements and constant enjoyment of football."

Chelsea have completed the signing of Ukraine international Mykhaylo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The 22-year-old has penned an eight-and-a-half year contract with the Blues, who have reportedly splashed out £89million (€100m) to beat London rivals Arsenal to the punch.

The Gunners' interest in Mudryk had been well documented throughout the season, with Mudryk publicly expressing his desire to join the club last year and dropping regular hints on social media throughout the transfer window.

However, after it was reported that Premier League leaders Arsenal were making progress towards their own deal, Chelsea owner Todd Boehly sanctioned a last-minute swoop to win the race for the winger.

Shakhtar confirmed on social media on Saturday that a deal with Chelsea was close. The post was shared on the Blues' official channels. 

The deal was officially announced by Chelsea on Sunday, with Mudryk in attendance at Stamford Bridge for the Premier League clash with Crystal Palace.

"I'm so happy to sign for Chelsea," Mudryk told his new club's official website.

"This is a huge club, in a fantastic league and it is a very attractive project for me at this stage of my career. I'm excited to meet my new team-mates and I'm looking forward to working and learning under Graham Potter and his staff."

Mudryk caught the eye in Shakhtar's Champions League campaign this season, scoring three goals and contributing two assists.

He becomes Chelsea's fifth signing of a busy transfer window, following on from the acquisitions of Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana and Joao Felix, who joined on loan from Atletico Madrid until the end of the season.

Joao Felix initially impressed on his debut against Fulham only to see red for a lunge on Kenny Tete, with Graham Potter's side going on to lose for a seventh time in 10 games.

Potter was also dealt a further blow as Denis Zakaria went down with a quad injury, adding to Chelsea's long list of absentees.

The Blues boss will be hoping Mudryk can hit the ground running as Chelsea aim to arrest their poor form.

Over the last two Ukrainian Premier League seasons, Mudryk has played 23 times for Shakhtar, scoring nine goals and setting up a further 13.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will have to turn their attention to other targets as Mikel Arteta's side aim to keep up their title charge.

Chelsea have completed the signing of Ukraine international Mykhaylo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The 22-year-old has penned an eight-and-a-half year contract with the Blues, who have reportedly splashed £89million (€100m) to beat London rivals Arsenal to the punch.

The Gunners' interest in Mudryk had been well documented throughout the season, with Mudryk publicly expressing his desire to join the club last year and dropping regular hints on social media throughout the transfer window.

However, after it was reported that Premier League leaders Arsenal were making progress towards their own deal, Todd Boehly sanctioned a last-minute swoop to win the race for the winger.

Shakhtar confirmed on social media on Saturday that a deal with Chelsea was close. The post was shared on the Blues' official channels. 

The deal was officially announces by Chelsea on Sunday, with Mudryk in attendance at Stamford Bridge for the Premier League clash with Crystal Palace.

"I'm so happy to sign for Chelsea," Mudryk told his new club's official website.

"This is a huge club, in a fantastic league and it is a very attractive project for me at this stage of my career. I'm excited to meet my new team-mates and I'm looking forward to working and learning under Graham Potter and his staff."

Mudryk caught the eye in Shakhtar's Champions League campaign this season, scoring three goals and contributing two assists.

He becomes Chelsea's fifth signing of a busy transfer window, following on from the acquisitions of Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana and Joao Felix, who joined on loan from Atletico Madrid until the end of the season.

Joao Felix initially impressed on his debut against Fulham only to see red for a lunge on Kenny Tete, with Graham Potter's side going on to lose for a seventh time in 10 games.

Potter was also dealt a further blow as Denis Zakaria went down with a quad injury, adding to Chelsea's long list of absentees.

The Blues boss will be hoping Mudryk can hit the ground running as Chelsea aim to arrest their poor form.

Over the last two Ukrainian Premier League seasons, Mudryk has played 23 times for Shakhtar, scoring nine goals and setting up a further 13.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will have to turn their attention to other targets as Mikel Arteta's side aim to keep up their title charge.

Mykhaylo Mudryk has become the latest mega-money acquisition in the Premier League, completing a huge move to Chelsea.

The Blues saw off competition from London rivals Arsenal to complete a move for the Ukraine international, who becomes the most expensive Premier League signing this window.

Chelsea reportedly paid £88.5 million (€100m) to add the 22-year-old to their ranks.

Arriving from his homeland, Mudryk has excelled in the past 18 months for Shakhtar and his performances in the Champions League this season gave his profile a significant boost.

However, with inexperience in a strong domestic league, questions may be asked as to why Mudryk was signed ahead of other targets. 

With the help of Opta data, Stats Perform has assessed why Chelsea have gone all out for Mudryk.

The Antony benchmark

The fee paid for Mudryk's services was driven up by Manchester United's signing of Antony from Ajax last year, with Shakhtar's sporting director Carlo Nicolini telling Calcio Napoli 24 that this was the benchmark for a sale of Mudryk.

"Given that we have no need for transfers, we said in due time that we evaluate the player stronger than some other profiles, such as Antony. This is the benchmark," he said.

United splashed a reported £85m (€95m) to land the Brazil international and, while it can be argued that they overpaid, it is fair for Shakhtar to assess that they see Mudryk as a "stronger" profile than Antony.

Since the start of the 2021-22 season, Mudryk has contributed to a goal (by either scoring or assisting) every 70 minutes in the Ukrainian Premier League.

That compares favourably to Antony, who has recorded a goal contribution every 144 minutes in the Eredivisie and Premier League.

A tally of 22 direct goal contributions (nine goals and 13 assists) comes from just 23 appearances, 11 less than Antony, who has 12 goals and six assists.

Given the pair have featured in different leagues, a comparison in the Champions League is fairer, where Mudryk has three goals and two assists in 12 matches, while Antony has two goals and four assists in the same number of games.

Mudryk has played over 200 minutes less than Antony though, leading to an average of 139 minutes per direct goal contribution which ranks him ahead of the Brazilian, who averages 153 minutes.

Another attacking option, but is it the right move?

In the Premier League this season, Chelsea have scored just 21 goals in 18 matches, which stands as the lowest tally in the top 10 of the division.

The struggles in the final third have come due to a lack of a reliable option in attack, with Kai Havertz and Raheem Sterling their joint top-scorers in the league with four goals each – and only three other players have scored more than once. 

This season, Mudryk has seven goals in the Ukrainian Premier League and has a minutes-per-goal or assist average of 65 minutes, showing that he can be the key to spark life into Graham Potter's attacking ranks.

An issue, however, is that Mudryk is not a central striker, an area where Chelsea are crying out for reinforcements, and the signing does beg questions as to what Todd Boehly's plan for the squad is – having spent an audacious amount since completing his takeover at Stamford Bridge next year.

While Mudryk can add goals to Chelsea's game, his contribution from the left may rely heavily on who is in the centre to tuck home the chances he created, though he can create a deadly partnership with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, should the former Arsenal man find his best form.

Chelsea are dealing with a long injury list, yet they have so many players who are forwards but not out-and-out strikers. Where will Mason Mount fit in? What about Havertz, or Sterling? Let's not forget Joao Felix, who only last week joined on loan from Atletico Madrid. He looked sharp on his debut against Fulham, before he then went and got sent off for a rash tackle.

Mudryk fits the profile of a high-quality young player that Chelsea are focusing on following Boehly's takeover, but he is another piece to a complicated puzzle that Potter has to solve at Stamford Bridge.

Premier League leaders Arsenal appear destined to miss out on their long-term target Mykhaylo Mudryk.

The Gunners had reportedly made several bids for the Shakhtar Donetsk winger, but he now seems set to join Chelsea after they began talks on a fee with the Ukrainian club.

As a result, Arsenal will need to turn their attention elsewhere during the January transfer window to bolster their squad.

TOP STORY – GUNNERS SWITCH ATTENTION TO BARCELONA'S RAPHINHA

Arsenal have turned to Barcelona's Brazilian winger Raphinha having missed out on Mudryk, claims Sportitalia.

The former Leeds United winger only joined Barcelona in July on a five-year contract, but has made only 12 starts from 22 overall appearances for the Blaugrana.

The Gunners hope that Raphinha would be a suitable candidate to return to England, given his previous Premier League experience.

 

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano claims Mykhaylo Mudryk will be at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea's game with Crystal Palace on Sunday after medical tests, having signed pre-contracts on a move to the Blues from Shakhtar Donetsk, warding off Arsenal's interest.

Chelsea have also lodged a €30million (£26.5m) offer for PSV winger Noni Madueke, according to ESPN. The 20-year-old England youth international moved to the Eredivisie from Tottenham in 2018.

Crystal Palace are set to launch a new bid to sign Conor Gallagher from Chelsea, claims The Sun on Sunday. Gallagher enjoyed a bright loan spell at Selhurst Park last season and has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

Memphis Depay will exit Barcelona in January, according to Fabrizio Romano. Talks are ongoing with Atletico Madrid, whom the Dutchman is open to joining.

Tottenham are readying a £20m (€22.5m) move for Bayer Leverkusen's Ecuadorian defender Piero Hincapie, reports The Sun on Sunday.

– Football Insider has suggested that Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita will leave the club on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this season.

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