Mykhaylo Mudryk had a Premier League debut to remember for Chelsea. Brought on in the 55th minute in a really cagey game against Liverpool at Anfield, he added the missing spark in his side’s attack with his blistering runs through the left wing.
Mudryk’s exhilarating substitute outing was widely considered the best thing about what was otherwise a pretty boring game.
Neither side was really able to entertain and there were many moments of sheer sloppiness that frustrated fans.
The Ukrainian winger’s pace, however, did anything but that. For Chelsea fans, watching him run like the flash was something truly refreshing.
Liverpool fans could barely watch Mudryk go up against a 37-year-old James Milner or an out-of-form Trent Alexander-Arnold without losing their minds.
Mudryk was unable to score the winner for his side or set up something big, but his overall performance earned praise from all over.
Considering that was his first appearance in a major European league and first competitive game in months, the 22-year-old performed like a natural fit.
During his exciting performance, the Ukraine winger was also able to set an impressive Premier League debut.
Mudryk recorded a top speed of 36.63 kmph within 10 minutes of his debut, which is the highest speed that has been recorded for any player in the Premier League so far this season.
He barely managed to beat the previous record of 36.61 kmph, which was incidentally set by former Chelsea target Anthony Gordon. Here is the list of players with the highest speed in the Premier League this season:
36.63 – Mykhaylo Mudryk
36.61 – Anthony Gordon
36.53 – Darwin Núñez
36.22 – Erling Haaland
36.09 – Denis Zakaria
For those trying to dismiss Mudryk as a one-off ‘speed merchant’, it’s not that he lacks in quality in the final third either.
His 10 goals and 8 assists in 18 appearances for Shakhtar Donetsk before his €100m move to Stamford Bridge tell something else. But it’s not like Mudryk only relies on his natural talent to do all the work for him.
He is a relentless fitness freak that has worked himself to the limit in order to get where he is right now. In fact, days after joining Chelsea, he already started putting his body through the trenches in the gym.
Mudryk has been working with a personal trainer, as many athletes do, to help him remain in optimal shape for the rest of the season. His trainer, Dima Chapovskyi, even shared footage of the winger working in the gym even after undergoing training sessions with his Chelsea teammates.
In the video, the 22-year-old can be seen doing various leg and weight-lifting exercises to help develop even more core strength. Mudryk is not just a speedster, but also surprisingly strong and able to deal with physical pressure – as he showed a few times against Liverpool.
It’ll take him some time to properly adapt to the Premier League’s conditions, as is the case with most players that arrive from foreign countries.
But seeing how entertaining his playing style is and his dedication to proving his doubters wrong, Mudryk could well and truly be the long-term successor to Hazard which Chelsea fans have been craving for many years now.