Mauricio Pochettino expressed his belief that Mykhailo Mudryk needs a deeper understanding of the game, following the winger’s underwhelming performance in Chelsea’s 0-0 draw against Bournemouth, which marked his first start of the season. The £88.5 million signing, who has yet to find the back of the net in the Premier League after 19 appearances, was substituted in the 63rd minute.
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Mudryk’s journey at Stamford Bridge began when he transferred from Shakhtar Donetsk on an eight-and-a-half-year deal in January. However, he has struggled to impress since his arrival. Pochettino acknowledges that the 22-year-old needs time to adapt to the fast-paced nature of the Premier League. The Chelsea head coach emphasized the importance of Mudryk gaining a better understanding of the game and improving his connection with the team.
Pochettino stated, “He is improving. He still needs to learn; the Premier League is very fast, the speed of the game is so fast. I think it’s about understanding the game better, try to be more connected sometimes with the team. We need to give the time and to give the tools for him to improve during the season.”
Despite Chelsea’s substantial financial investments, including Mudryk’s signing, they have struggled to convert their spending into on-field success. The uninspiring goalless draw against Bournemouth left them with just five points from their first five games, and they have scored a mere five goals in the Premier League this season, marking their lowest tally after five games since the 1995-96 season.
Pochettino acknowledged the need for his team to display composure in front of the goal and improve their efficiency when presented with scoring opportunities. He remarked, “We need to be tough in the way we are trying. It’s about improving our efficacy in front of the goal. We need to be calm also, but in these types of circumstances, it is not easy for the players to be calm in front of the goal, but we cannot blame no one.”
The Chelsea fans’ frustration was evident as some of them booed at the end of the Bournemouth match, leaving the team in 14th place with just one win in their first five league games. Pochettino, however, refused to ask for patience from the fans, stating that they are entitled to express themselves. He highlighted the challenges his team is facing due to injuries and emphasized the need to remain positive and strong in their beliefs.
Pochettino also mentioned the club’s injury crisis, with 12 players unavailable due to injuries, and the inclusion of several young players on the bench in their most recent match. He maintained his optimism and resilience in the face of adversity, emphasizing the need to keep believing in their approach and not to deviate from their chosen path.