Every so often a player emerges from a difficult situation and just looks destined for greatness. Ukraine has produced some quite sensational footballers: Andriy Shevchenko, Sergiy Rebrov and Anatoliy Tymoschuk. Yet, Mykhailo Mudryk looks like he could eclipse even those aforementioned names, yielding a major transfer in time.
The 21-year-old winger has emerged from Shakhtar Donetsk’s youth system, despite the team finding their life ripped apart due to the war in Ukraine.
Shakhtar’s expulsion from its home country canceled home games. Furthermore, it uprooted the reliable training facilities players are familiar with.
Mudryk is their prized jewel. The player who is carrying their team on the pitch at the present moment, and the sellable asset who will bring in the finance to keep the club afloat as Ukrainian football struggles.
Who is Mykhailo Mudryk?
The winger has done his time on loan in Ukraine, playing for Arsenal Kyiv and Desna Chernihiv before breaking into the Shakhtar senior team.
Upon his arrival into the first-team, there has been no looking back for the creative wizard. In 17 Ukrainian Premier League games, Mudryk has scored five goals and contributed 12 assists.
His natural game is providing chances for his teammates. This is an antiquated play style as wingers act as inside forwards.
Standing at 5’7, Mudryk is a diminutive playmaker. He can excel all across the front line, although his best position is as a left winger.
On occasion, he served as a no.10 for Shakhtar. This is not his favored role
Mudryk doesn’t quite yet have the low center of gravity that has allowed players of a smaller frame to dominate. If you think of Eden Hazard and Lionel Messi, they were at their best when they put on a little weight.
When Mudryk eventually moves to a European giant, this will be high on his priorities.
Versatile, and enjoyable, skill set
It’s hard to watch Mudryk and not smile. His quick feet are attractive and there is a little of Europe’s best playmakers in his game.
If you were to describe Mudryk, you’d class him as a cross between Neymar’s outrageous technical ability and Martin Odegaard’s direct creativity.
A penalty scored by Shakhtar Donetsk’s under-19 team back in 2019 highlighted these qualities. Mudryk took the spot-kick but merely passed the ball across to a teammate who fired the ball into the net.
If there is something to be tried, the Ukrainian international will do just that. He attempts nutmegs and tries to beat defenders with dribbling. Is this a worry in a more physical league? Perhaps, but it’s fantastic to watch.
The best transfer destination for Mykhailo Mudryk
Arsenal were desperate to sign Mykhailo Mudryk in the summer of 2022. Shakhtar rejected a number of bids in excess of $45 million. Instead, the Ukrainian club sees a prodigious talent on its hands. Mudryk’s potential could pocket the club over $100 million in the future.
Manchester United and Manchester City expressed prior interest in the player. That being said, the Mancunian clubs express interest in virtually every player with their expansive scouting networks.
Mudryk won’t stay in Ukraine beyond the 2022/23 season, he’s too talented. However, it’s interest to try and pick out a perfect destination for him.
It depends on the kind of development the player needs. The Premier League would be a huge shock to the slender winger at this point. Personally, you’re looking at either Spain or France as the ideal style of football for him.
Borussia Dortmund have a great record of developing players like Mudryk, but they won’t be able to afford him in 2023.
Bayern Munich have never replaced Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery with skillful wingers, and with Thomas Muller nearing the end of his career, Mudryk could be a perfect player for the Bavarian giants.
Real Madrid have an abundance of talent in attack already and will only break-up their triumvirate if a superstar like Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappé become available.
Barcelona don’t have the fiscal capability to sign the Ukrainian star, so all eyes turn to Paris.
Ligue 1 is an easy league for attacking talents to thrive in. Mudryk would find a step-up in quality in France and gain Champions League experience.
Paris Saint-Germain can afford the 21-year-old and will need to replenish their forward line with younger talent. Mbappe may push to leave in the near future and Lionel Messi’s contract expires in June 2023.
Mudryk would immediately thrive in an attacking system and perhaps wouldn’t have the baggage that has caused PSG so many administrative headaches in recent years.
His style perfectly fits the French champions. It would be a major surprise if they did not send out a transfer inquest for Mykhailo Mudryk in 2023.
PHOTO: IMAGO / AFLOSPORT
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