Mykhaylo Mudryk makes first Chelsea appearance after completing £87m transfer

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Chelsea have completed the signing of Mykhaylo Mudryk for an eye-watering £87m, gazumping Arsenal’s well-documented attempts to capture the Shakhtar Donetsk wonderkid in the January transfer window.

Chelsea’s new £87million signing, Mykhaylo Mudryk, has been spotted at Stamford Bridge ahead of the Blues’ Premier League clash with Crystal Palace.

The Ukrainian wonderkid, 21, underwent a medical on Sunday morning and has signed a seven-year deal with Chelsea, who gazumped Arsenal’s final £62m offer following weeks of fraught negotiations with Shakhtar Donetsk.

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Reported to come with £100,000-a-week wages, Mudryk’s big-money arrival is a signal of boardroom support for struggling Blues boss Graham Potter, who on Thursday led his Chelsea side to three successive losses for the second time in the space of eight games, with a bruising 2-1 defeat to West London rivals Fulham.

Having last lost three in a row in 2002, co-owner Todd Boehly has emphatically responded to the Blues’ torrid run of form by completing the club’s second-most expensive transfer in their history.

Under-fire Potter was keen to sign Mudryk off the back of his outstanding displays for Shakhtar in the Champions League earlier this season, and now he’s been on show in front of the Stamford Bridge faithful. Ahead of kick-off as Chelsea hosted Palace, the 21-year-old winger was spotted in the stands and gave fans a much-needed reason to cheer.

Although Chelsea’s interest has grown since the January transfer window opened, coinciding with their dwindling top-four hopes, Mudryk had looked more likely to join league leaders Arsenal, who’d reportedly offered him £50,000 per week. Manager Mikel Arteta had continually instructed his superiors to pursue a move, leading to three separate bids.

Shakhtar, however, stood firm, naming their price of £87m and waiting until a suitor was willing to match it. A series of pleas to sign for Arsenal from Mudryk on social media didn’t deter the Ukrainian champions, who got what they wanted when Chelsea officials flew to Warsaw on Saturday – where negotiations took place amid the ongoing war in Ukraine – to thrash out a deal.

An outlandish fee for a player who has mustered less than 70 senior appearances at club level and tallied only eight caps for his country, Boehly and co are willing to spend big if it means returning the Blues to their former glories.

Despite his tender age, the right-footed playmaker, who enjoys operating in the left-hand forward channel, could indeed be a catalyst for Chelsea’s resurgence.

Ex-Shakhtar boss Roberto De Zerbi, now manager of Brighton, believes that his former prodigy is capable of becoming a future Ballon d’Or winner, saying last month: “Mudryk is a fantastic player. I like him, because I like all my ex-players.

“But Brighton can’t buy him. Arsenal, I don’t know. I think Mudryk can win the Ballon d’Or in the future. I know the value of Mudryk.”

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