Ahead of what would be one of the biggest moves of the January transfer window, read all you need to know about Arsenal target Mykhaylo Mudryk.
Mudryk plays for Shakhtar Donetsk, where he scored seven goals and made six assists in 12 games prior to the Ukrainian winter break.
He’s also impressed in the Champions League this season, certainly not helping Arsenal’s cause to try and sign the winger, with goals home and away against Celtic, as well as a goal and two assists in the 4-1 demolition in Germany over RB Leipzig.
Despite his tender age, the fact that Shakhtar aren’t even entertaining bids of £55m – and that Arsenal are seemingly willing to go that high – and possibly higher – should give a decent indication of how highly thought-of the winger is.
The Ukrainian club have even gone as far as to say they expect a fee closer to the £100m Manchester City paid to acquire Jack Grealish’s services, than the £70m Manchester United paid for Antony.
How much of that is brinkmanship remains to be seen, but what seems clear is that if Arsenal want to secure the winger’s services in January, they’ll have to pay a hefty fee.
He’s certainly talented, with pace and electrifying dribbling skills which have seen him dubbed the ‘Ukrainian Neymar’, and though his decision-making can be called into question, that isn’t unheard of for a young winger, and is something Mikel Arteta will surely feel he can develop.
Mudryk is 21 years old, and will turn 22 on 5th January 2023.
Though there is still all of January to get a deal done, it seems to the clubs will likely need to meet in the middle regarding a transfer fee, with Shakhtar’s asking price an apparent stumbling block, especially when reports in the summer suggested a bid of around £30m would get a deal done.
Despite Arsenal outlaying around £100m in each of the last five seasons, Mudryk may now require a record fee from the Gunners, which may be particularly off-putting considering how much Liverpool have sign Cody Gakpo for, though there is clearly a philosophy at the Emirates of signing young players, and Mudryk fits the bill.
Mudryk plays as a left-winger, whose pace can either see him take a direct route outside the full-back, or to cut inside onto his stronger right foot. He's also capable of operating on the right wing.
The 21-year-old could also operate in a slightly more central role as part of a midfield three if Mikel Arteta was looking to create left-sided overloads via Gabriel Martinelli, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Mudryk.
Right now, it’s hard to see Mudryk getting into Arsenal’s strongest XI. Gabriel Martinelli currently occupies the left wing and his impressive performances this season make him hard to shift out of the side.
However, as the season reaches its climax with the fixture list becoming more cramped, Mikel Arteta will require rotation options, and the Spaniard will likely see Mudryk as a player he can mould and develop, as he has with Martinelli and Bukayo Saka.
Mudryk joined early in January 2021, and has a contract with Shakhtar until the end of 2026.