Chelsea finance Ukraine’s resistance to the war by signing Mudryk to Shakhtar | Sports

The appraisers who have advised Chelsea in recent decades estimated the value of Mykhailo Mudryk in a range that oscillates between 30 and 40 million euros. This was communicated to the club, according to Premier sources. But the new owner, American businessman Todd Boehly, turned a deaf ear when he agreed to pay 88.6 million pounds (100 million euros) for the Shakhtar Donetsk winger. They presented it on Sunday at Stamford Bridge wrapped in a Ukrainian flag and this Monday the owner of the club of origin, the industrialist Rinat Akhmetov, celebrated the operation while revealing that he will allocate 25 million euros to finance the army and the “defenders”. that for almost a year have resisted the Russian invasion.

The most astonished were former Chelsea employees who, according to people who work for the club, “suspect” that the premium will be used to finance the purchase of weapons. Now they are watching in astonishment at Boehly, the banker who headed the consortium that last July paid 5,000 million euros to acquire the club that the British government expropriated from the Russian Roman Abramovich. With the signing of Mudryk, player contracts since the summer amount to 450 million euros. European record in a single season. A spiral whose last turn produces the incorporation of a footballer with no more history at the highest level than some explosive plays in the group stage of the Champions League, last fall.

“Today we can talk about Ukrainian football thanks to the Ukrainian army and the support of the entire civilized world,” Rinat Akhmetov said in an official statement published by Shakhtar on Monday. The mining industrialist, owner of the famous Azovstal steelworks where the last defenders of Mariupol took refuge, reflected on the transfer of Mudryk. “I am convinced that we will win the war,” he said. “And then we will play a friendly match with Chelsea at the Donbas Arena, in a Ukrainian Donetsk (…). I will dedicate $25 million today to help our soldiers and their families.”

Chelsea manager Graham Potter was accommodating at his press conference on Sunday: “He’s a young player with a great future,” he said, when asked about the price for Mudryk, the most expensive transfer in history. of the club, after Lukaku, which cost 110 million a year and a half ago. “The transfer windows don’t surprise you, because things happen that sometimes you don’t expect to happen. He is exciting one on one and the verticality with which he attacks the back line. He can play open but he also knows how to threaten the goal. I think our fans will like it.”

The enthusiasm that Potter expresses contradicts the feeling of pessimism that was spreading this Monday among the professionals who for years strove to make Chelsea squads according to football criteria. Sources close to the Premier indicate that the reports that analysts prepared for Boehly after exhaustive monitoring indicated that he is a player with too many unknowns to justify a historic investment. Mudryk, they point out, has springs in his ankles, an enviable change of pace and an invaluable ability to drive the controlled ball. His deficit lies in his aristocratic mentality. He reminds them of Andrei Arshavin, the Russian who failed to succeed at Arsenal because he had the same character: sometimes self-indulgent, distracted without the ball and too often disconnected from the game with the ball as well. “Hopefully they highlight all his virtues and hide his defects, because if not this will end up like a Monty Python movie,” says an English businessman linked to Chelsea.

João Félix, postponed

At 22 years old, Mudryk will enjoy an unusual contract in the industry: eight and a half years. At Chelsea, tenth ranked in the Premier, they say that if they had not signed him, the player would have gone to Arsenal. The owner of the neighboring club, Stan Kroenke, also an American, was willing to undertake the operation for the same esoteric reasons that encouraged Boehly.

The surprise that swept through Europe after the signing turned into indignation at Jorge Mendes’ agency, which spent months trying to place Atlético striker João Felix – one of the most sought-after players in the world – for 80 million euros. Boehly did not agree. He got João Félix on loan and later bought the rights to the enigmatic Mykhailo Mudryk.

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