Chelsea coach explains Mudryk first XI absence in recent games

Graham Potter has explained the reason he has kept recently signed forward Mykhaylo Mudryk out of the Chelsea first XI.

Mudryk has struggled to make an impact since his £88million transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk in the January window. He has failed to break into the first team in the last four games, with his last start coming in the first-leg defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last month.

The youngster was introduced as a second-half substitute in defeats to Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur before not featuring at all in the win at home to Leeds United and the second-leg triumph over Dortmund on Tuesday.

The winger also remains without a goal or an assist since joining the club two months ago.

That has resulted in some questioning Potter’s use of Mudryk.

Explaining the reason behind the 22-year-old’s limited game time in recent matches, Potter said they are allowing the Ukrainian more time to settle in and get accustomed to the EPL.

“Every player wants to play and it’s important that players play to improve, I think that’s a fact,” the Chelsea coach said, as cited by the Evening Standard. “But at the same time, it’s not a straight road, it’s not just a play and everything happens in a linear way. Sometimes you have to take a step away.

“Sometimes you just need a bit of training time, you need a breather. Lots of factors. Hopefully, he can benefit from the time he’s had. It’s not easy for him to just arrive in the middle of pre-season for him and to come into a new country, new club, new league, and just hit his absolute maximum level.”

The Chelsea boss added: “It’s regardless of the fee, I know people will look at the fee but it doesn’t change the situation he is in. So we’re positive about him. We’re positive about the future for him. But we need just to help them settle and help him understand what he needs to do to help us.”

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