Chelsea: Is Mykhailo Muryk a creative or goalscoring winger?

It’s impossible to dispute the fact that Chelsea winger Mykhailo Mudryk has been underwhelming since he came in, but what is also impossible to dispute is that he has not played much since he signed on the dotted line in January 2023. 

Chelsea FC v Burnley FC - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Burnley FC - Premier League / Richard Pelham/GettyImages

Chelsea pinched the Ukraine international from Arsenal’s grasp in last season’s winter transfer window and though he was unfit to play when he arrived, he never really picked up form till the season ended. 

This season, Mudryk has started to look good, even earning a starting spot over Raheem Sterling. However, the question in the minds and on the lips of many Chelsea fans remains: What would he bring to the team? Is he a creative winger or a goalscoring/high-volume shooting winger?

The answer to that is…neither. Not yet anyway. Mudryk’s passing doesn’t show him to be someone that thinks like a chance creator like Cole Palmer. His shot selection and positioning doesn’t suggest he’s a goal scoring winger either, as he is not good at getting into good shooting positions like Raheem Sterling

Mudryk and Sterling’s creation numbers are nearly identical, but their shooting numbers are uncomfortably far apart. 

According to FBRef, Mudryk has recorded 0.18 assists per 90 minutes (per90), compared to Sterling’s 0.20. They also have the same expected assists per90 (0.19).

Both players also average a similar volume of shot creating actions per90 (SCA90), with Sterling just edging it (3.74), compared to Mudryk’s 3.6.

The similarities between the Ukraine winger and the veteran Premier League winger ends at the chance creation numbers. The shot profiles of both players are very different. 

Sterling takes more shots, and better shots. Sterling is currently the second best player at Chelsea with respect to shot positions, as his average shot distance is 13.6 yards. Mudryk’s average shot distance is 17.6 yards.

In terms of shooting accuracy, Sterling is also much better than the former Shakhtar Donetsk forward, with 37% of his shots being on target, compared to Mudryk’s 29%. 

Mudryk has the attributes to either become a goalscoring winger or a creative winger, or even both, like Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, but he needs to be more intelligent with his passing and movement. 

His speed means he can be a handful for back lines and easily get into good shooting positions. That speed also means he can get past players very quickly, enabling him to beat his markers and create space for himself to make more creative passes. 

At this point, Mudryk is not more of a creator, nor is he more of a high-volume shooter, but most importantly, it is difficult to definitively state what he’s more of until he gets gametime more regularly.