Chelsea flop ‘rigid and stiff’ as Gary Neville baffled by future of ‘proper player’

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Neville on Man Utd Credit: Alamy
Neville on Man Utd Credit: Alamy

Gary Neville was shocked by how “rigid and stiff” Chelsea star Mykhaylo Mudryk looked in the 4-1 defeat to Manchester United on Thursday.

Mudryk arrived at Chelsea in January after the Blues fought off competition from Arsenal to sign the 22-year-old from Shakhtar Donetsk for €70m.

But after an impressive debut off the bench against Liverpool, the Ukraine international has fallen well short of expectations at Stamford Bridge, failing to score in 17 appearances and contributing just two assists.

The defeat to United at Old Trafford was Mudryk’s eighth start of the campaign and, as has been the case pretty much throughout his short time in the Premier League, the winger looked completely lost.

After a difficult start to the game, in which he ceded possession on a number of occasions and fluffed one very good chance, Mudryk found himself in a great position on the edge of the United box, before his first touch saw the ball bounce harmlessly away for a goal-kick.

“Oh my goodness, how many times have we seen that in the first half? So rigid and stiff on the ball,” Neville said of Mudryk during his commentary for Sky Sports.

“It’s so heavy that touch its unbelievable. That is just confidence, or a lack of it.

“It’s like he hasn’t got a picture of what he’s going to do with it before he receives it. It’s all a bit fast in his head.”

Mudryk was taken off after an hour and Joao Felix entered the fray, with the Portuguese forward scoring a stunning consolation goal for the Blues.

Neville waxed lyrical over his contribution before revealing his bafflement at Chelsea “signing everybody” on a permanent deal but Felix, who is set to return to Atletico Madrid at the end of the season.

Neville said: “He [Felix] is a proper player, just the way he moves with the ball it looks different. He is so in control, class, real class, he has options in front of him but thinks no, I am going to go on my own, really good finish.

“They [Chelsea] have signed everybody but the one player they should have an option on they haven’t got.”

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