Mykhailo Mudryk made quite the impression on his Chelsea debut.
Given the revolving door of players and injuries at Stamford Bridge right now, we probably shouldn’t have been surprised to see Mudryk getting straight into it against Liverpool on Saturday.
Having been unveiled to the Blues faithful last weekend, Graham Potter was clearly keen to get the club’s £89-million purchase on the pitch without much in the way of delay as he brought him off the bench at Anfield.
How did Mudryk play on his Chelsea debut?
With the score locked at 0-0 on Merseyside, the Blues boss rolled the dice by bringing on Mudryk – as well as Carney Chukwuemeka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – in a bid to win the game.
And although the spoils would ultimately still be shared, Mudryk made the biggest impression out of any of Chelsea‘s substitutes nonetheless.
For many, Mudryk was an unknown quantity until Arsenal and Chelsea began a titanic tussle to secure his signature in January, but fans quickly got a feeling for what he’s all about at Anfield.
That’s because the 22-year-old instantly changed the whole mood and vibe of the game by injecting a certain je ne sais quoi into proceedings.
There was a rawness and electricity about Mudryk whenever he got the ball that just looked, well, different – and helped lead Chelsea into a number of promising situations.
The former Shakhtar Dontesk prodigy was giving James Milner a real headache on the left flank as he pressed his foot on the accelerator and flew down the touchline like a roadrunner.
Marry that to immaculate footwork, accurate passes and a willingness to get his hands dirty in defence and frankly, there was an eruption of admiration for Mudryk across social media.
Video: Rio Ferdinand waxes lyrical about Mudryk after Chelsea debut
Rio Ferdinand was impressed by Mykhailo Mudryk. pic.twitter.com/Jkjoh7GHjS
— Frank Khalid OBE (@FrankKhalidUK) January 21, 2023
Was Mudryk’s debut as good as everyone says?
But is all of the hype justified? Well, you’ve probably seen his stunning run in the penalty area already and no doubt his drawing of a foul from Milner, too, but let’s take a look at his performance as a whole.
To do so, check out what Twitter @LSVids has put together because their brilliant edit of Mudryk’s individual highlights against Liverpool gives you a good idea of why so many people were losing their minds online.
Video: Mudryk’s exciting individual highlights from Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea
Mykhailo Mudryk vs. Liverpool
— ّ (@LSVids) January 21, 2023
Mykhaylo Mudryk’s Debut against Liverpool. 🧙
— Mwas Mchelsea (@MwasMchelsea_) January 21, 2023
Was it a faultless display? Of course not, but you can sense from the very manner in which Mudryk was playing why exactly it was that so many fans, former players and pundits got so hyped.
It’s the box-office nature of Mudryk’s style of play that really caught the eye, reminding many Chelsea fans of Eden Hazard in the way he gives you a sense that anything could happen.
You can only learn so much from about 30 minutes on the pitch, granted, but you’ve got to say that Mudryk showed all the early signs and potential of a man who could well go onto make his mammoth transfer fee look like loose change.
And even if he doesn’t, it looks like he’ll be blockbuster entertainment regardless.