Talking Tactics: Under-pressure Potter must unlock Mudryk's magic
Mykhailo Mudryk has endured a slow start to life at Stamford Bridge.
The electric winger introduced himself to the Premier League with a lively debut against Liverpool — but he is yet to contribute with a goal or assist.
Along with Enzo Fernandez, the Ukrainian was the headline of a big-spending revamp for Chelsea in January — his own fee was an eye-watering £89million.
Ahead of Chelsea’s London derby clash at Tottenham, we take a look at how Graham Potter can unlock Mudryk’s full potential.
Bad Blues form
The boos that echoed around Stamford Bridge last Saturday after the dour 1-0 defeat to Southampton were indicative of the mood at Chelsea.
The Blues have failed to win any of their last five matches, drawing three and losing two — scoring only one goal in the process.
The lack of a focal point is noticeable and as a result, Potter finds himself in firing line after Todd Boehly’s rampant winter shopping spree.
To ensure his place in the dugout is secure, Potter must get Mudryk — and Chelsea's attack as a whole — firing on all cylinders.
Expectations for Mudryk were high after a series of impressive performances in the Champions League for Shakhtar Donetsk — where he scored three goals and assisted two.
On his debut at Anfield, he put on a dynamic display, breezing past opponents and dancing through the Liverpool defence with his quick feet.
However, since then, his rawness has been evident, with heavy touches and a lack of decisiveness in the attacking third costing Chelsea in crucial moments.
For the Blues, he is yet to have an effort on target, missing two big chances, losing 15 duels and being dispossessed 30 times in 173 Premier League minutes.
It has been a sharp reminder for fans that Mudryk still has a lot of developing to do.
Mudryk loves receiving the ball early and in space to give him the chance to take on his opponents — one of his best qualities.
Against West Ham, he cut a particularly frustrated figure as Marc Cucurella opted against feeding the forward on a number of occasions.
Chelsea’s No15 has also often been left isolated, having to beat several players to get close to the goal.
In part, this has come as a result of Potter’s latest formation change, switching to a four-man defence from the back three he deployed against Liverpool.
Subsequently, Cucurella has dropped deeper to cover and is not given the same licence to assist Mudryk in the attack.
Adding support will help get the 22-year-old on the ball where he is at his best and give him more freedom to beat defenders in dangerous areas.
Chelsea centre-half Kalidou Koulibaly praised Mudryk for his acceleration and ability on the ball.
He said: "They are all good, but Mykhailo [Mudryk] — I was following Mykhailo for a long time because we were in contact on Instagram, so I know him a little bit.
"He’s really, really good in training — really fast, good with the ball — and Joao Felix also, everybody knows him.
"When they have the ball in their feet, there is like some magic also, it’s good for us."
Earning his Spurs
Despite the ongoing absence of former Blues boss Antonio Conte — who is recovering from gallbladder surgery — Tottenham were able to bounce back from their shock loss to Leicester, beating West Ham 2-0 to move into fourth ahead of Matchday 25.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has been a difficult place for the top six to come to, with even Manchester City falling to defeat.
Chelsea will need their flying wingers to disrupt the Spurs defence to have a chance of coming away with a result.
A win would relieve a lot of the pressure Potter is facing and making sure Mudryk shines could be the key to coming away with all three points.