Ex-Russia boss blasts Chelsea move for Ukraine star
Leonid Slutsky, the former CSKA Moscow, Rubin Kazan and Russian national team boss, says that Chelsea’s big money move for Ukraine winger Mikhail Mudryk is a risky one given his relative lack of experience.
Chelsea completed a £62 million (€70 million) deal for the 22-year-old former Shakhtar Donetsk on Sunday, though the fee could rise as high as £89 million (€101 million) based upon performance-related bonuses across the course of an eight-and-a-half year contract.
In doing so, the Blues skipped ahead of Mudryk’s longtime suitors in London rivals Arsenal, with Chelsea swiftly agreeing to the financial demands laid out by his now former club to ensure a transfer happened as swiftly as possible.
But the exceptionally large transfer fee for a player who has appeared in just 65 club games in his career represents a massive risk for Chelsea, according to Slutsky.
“100 million euros for a player who has played several matches in the Champions League - how [did that happen]?” said Slutsky to the Comment show YouTube channel, via translation.
“I don’t understand these transfers. Chelsea are not a team for the future, they are a team for the present. They cannot buy players for the future. And a player for the future cannot cost 100 million. It is simply impossible.”
Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly, along with financial group Clearlake Capital, have invested heavily in the Premier League club since completing a takeover from former owner Roman Abramovich in May, but results have suffered under new head coach Graham Potter – with the former multiple-time champions of England languishing in tenth position in the league table.
It is hoped by the club that Mudryk, a pacy and creative wide player, will help to provide a platform for the team to succeed in the second half of the Premier League season.
But nonetheless, Slutsky says that the inflated price paid for Mudryk shows the new Chelsea regime's inexperience in controlling a top European football club.
“Mudryk has amazing speed, there’s nothing to even talk about. But for me, for now, this is a player who runs very well. They paid 100 million because Arsenal were interested in him, but they took it because he is a prominent figure.”
It is expected that Mudryk will make his Premier League debut for Chelsea away to rivals Liverpool on Saturday.