Mykhaylo Mudryk has been a constant topic of discussion ever since he completed his sensational move to Chelsea.
The Blues gazumped rivals Arsenal at the eleventh hour to acquire the Ukrainian’s services for a reported fee of £88m.
Following the official announcement of the transfer, the 22-year-old was presented in front of the Stamford Bridge faithful draped in the Ukrainian flag, and his league debut came just a few days later.
The former Shakhtar forward made an instant impression by coming off the bench against Liverpool and starring in an excellent cameo. There were glimpses of his pace, trickery and ability to operate in tight spaces, he even came close to scoring on a couple of occasions.
Blues fans were absolutely delighted with his cameo, and they’ve been itching to see more of the forward, there was plenty of positivity around the winter recruit.
However, that general sentiment seems to have deteriorated a bit, all because of a wordless Instagram story posted by the player.
Hailing from Ukraine, the 22-year-old is heavily invested in the happenings in his home country, which obviously includes the ongoing Russian invasion.
Being a patriot, Mudryk has shown support for his fellow countrymen on numerous occasions, but the story that ticked off fans online had little to do with the invasion itself.
As seen below, his story was a series of emojis depicting a handshake between Ukraine and Israel.
It was likely a display of respect to the nation, which suffered a terrorist attack in Jerusalem that night and among the victims was a woman hailing from Ukraine.
The atrocity happened outside a synagogue on Friday, which was also the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
Alongside Mudryk and many other Ukrainians, President Volodymyr Zelensky also offered his condolences.
Given the context, his story upload comes off as a reasonable reaction to a horrific event, however, some fans online managed to arrive at the conclusion that the forward is Pro-Israel.
For the unacquainted, Israel has gained plenty of infamy for its long-standing oppression of Palestine. While many align with the nation and cite various justifications, a majority of people hold vehement distaste for Israel and anyone who supports the country.
Naturally, the matter is extremely sensitive, and it’s fairly easy to tick off the members of either faction.
Mudryk unintentionally did so with the story, and overnight, he became a divisive figure within the Chelsea fanbase.
Fans in support of the Ukrainian pointed towards the necessary context behind the story, and also called out the hypocrisy of the other faction by mentioning their support for Roman Abramovich, who himself had a very shady track record alongside his well-known ties to Vladimir Putin.
Those opposing the player suggested a bit of naivety on Mudryk’s part, as he posted a story in support of Israel (accused of oppressing Palestine), despite hailing from Ukraine who are facing oppression from Russia, indicating that he should know better than to do so.
The entire situation is quite messy, so much so that factions are forming within a fanbase.
Hopefully, the opinion around Mudryk will change as time goes on, or at least the political side will be separated from the Football.