'It's cultural' – Pochettino backs 'unique' Mykhailo Mudryk to come good at Chelsea

Chelsea winger Mykhailo Mudryk looks on during the Blues' Carabao Cup clash against Brighton in September 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has backed winger Mykhailo Mudryk to overcome 'cultural' problems at Stamford Bridge and make a success of his career at the west London club.

Mudryk signed for the Blues in January from Shakhtar Donetsk for an initial £62 million, which could rise to £89m with add-ons, but has struggled so far in England and is yet to score a goal for the club.

With a number of key players missing through injury, Mudryk has started the last three games for Chelsea, albeit going off in the second half against Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Brighton.

And Pochettino insists he has faith in the Ukraine international, who is still just 22 years old.

"He is quite unique," the Argentine said ahead of Monday's derby away to Fulham. "I think it is a good challenge for him and for [the coaching staff].

"Misha is a very talented player but you need to go with him very slowly. [It's] cultural and everything is completely different to [how] Latin people [are].

"He is now trying to be more open and trying to adapt and be more involved in every single situation, not only on the field, off the field also and he is making a massive effort to try and integrate himself and understand better what it means to play like a team."

Chelsea are down in 15th ahead of Monday night's match at Craven Cottage, having picked up just five points from their six matches in the Premier League so far this season.

The Blues have also only scored five goals in the competition in 2023/24 and Mudryk looks likely to be given another chance against Fulham as summer signings Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson miss out through injury and suspension, respectively.

More Chelsea stories

Despite Chelsea's struggles so far this term, Mauricio Pochettino is not disappointed with how his side has been performing.

He has, however, urged patience – while curiously likening his players to... lemons.

Meanwhile, the Blues have been linked with a sensational swoop for out-of-favour Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

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