Mykhailo Mudrk has made a slow start at Chelsea, but boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk believes his fellow Ukrainian will one day win the Ballon d’Or.
- Ukrainian joined Blues in January window
- Yet to open his goal account
- Tipped to emulate Andriy Shevchenko
WHAT HAPPENED? The 22-year-old winger made plenty of headlines during the January transfer window when he completed a €100 million (£88m/$107m) transfer to Stamford Bridge from Shakhtar Donetsk. Mudryk is still waiting on his first goal for the Premier League heavyweights, and has only one assist to his name, but Usyk is convinced that his talented compatriot will go on to emulate the achievements of ex-Chelsea and AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko when it comes to collecting a prestigious Ballon d’Or.
WHAT THEY SAID: Unified heavyweight champion Usyk has told Parimatch when asked if Mudryk’s fee came as a surprise: “No, it doesn’t. Everything has risen. Prices, and money, are a little higher than they were. I think he’s worth a little more than €100 million because I’ve been watching this guy. I saw him for the first time playing for the U-18 or U-19 team. The hairstyle that catches your eye, the tattoos, I mean, he was playing, and I was watching him, and I liked him. It seems to me that this guy can bring the fourth Ballon d’Or to Ukraine.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Part of Mudryk’s transfer fee went to help forces in Ukraine in their ongoing fight against Russian invaders, with Usyk heading home at one stage to provide assistance on the front line.
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WHAT NEXT? Mudryk is considered to still have plenty of potential to unlock at Chelsea, with his blistering pace clear for all to see, and he will be looking to head into the next international break on the back of a positive outing against Everton on Saturday.