Mauricio Pochettino made an interesting choice by selecting a young starting XI for Chelsea in their pre-season match against Wrexham. However, fans were quick to notice that Mykhailo Mudryk was not included in the squad, and the club did not provide a reason for his absence.
Mudryk, who joined Chelsea from Shakhtar Donetsk in January for a hefty fee of £88 million, traveled with his teammates for the tour in America. Supporters have high hopes for the 22-year-old under Pochettino’s guidance, as he is yet to score his first goal for Chelsea.
Surprisingly, Mudryk was not named in the matchday squad for the Florida Cup game, despite being present at the Kenan Memorial Stadium. Enzo Fernandez, Levi Colwill, and Noni Madueke were also left out, with Chelsea explaining that they had only returned to pre-season training at the beginning of the week.
However, no explanation was given for Mudryk’s absence on Chelsea’s website. It is likely that Pochettino is gradually reintegrating the young player into action after his participation in the Under-21 European Championship. Nevertheless, fans were left wondering why he was not included in the squad, with some expressing their confusion on social media.
While Mudryk’s absence raised questions, new signing Nicolas Jackson impressed as the leading striker. Christopher Nkunku, another summer recruit, started on the bench. The starting lineup also featured academy goalkeeper Jamie Cumming, along with defenders Malo Gusto, Trevor Chalobah, Bashir Humphreys, and Marc Cucurella. Andrey Santos, Cesare Casadei, and Carney Chukwuemeka formed the midfield, while Diego Moreira, Jackson, and Ian Maatsen led the attack.
Mauricio Pochettino’s first squad for Chelsea opened a lot of debates among the fans, but not the one involving the exclusion of young Ukrainian talent, Mykhailo Mudryk. After his impressive performances for the Ukrainian U-20s in the European Championship, and his transfer to Chelsea in the January Transfer Window, Mudryk was widely tipped to be part of Mr Pochettino’s squad, but everyone knows now that this was not the case.
The Chelsea fans flocked to social media to share their disappointment with their new manager’s decision. Many had hoped the young talent would be given a chance in the squad, and some suspect the exclusion may even be a mere power struggle. This thought, however, was put to rest by former football analyst, Peter Crouch, who said it’s “hardly surprising” as “he’s a young player and it takes time to adjust to a new system”.
The football world was abuzz with questions surrounding the decision, but the Chelsea faithful were unified in their response: they were certain they had missed out on a potential star. Mudryk’s time at Chelsea is still yet to come, and the supporters are confident that with the right guidance, he will stake his claim and prove his worth in no time.
At the end of the day, fans are looking toward the future with optimism, and hope Mr Pochettino makes the right call with Mykhailo Mudryk next time.