a transfer like no other / England / Chelsea / SOFOOT.com

Mykhaylo Mudryk is committed until June 2031 with the Blues for an amount of 70 million euros with bonuses of up to an additional 30 million euros. Apart from the 83 million posed by Barça for Neymar in 2013, never had a club spent so much money on a player playing outside of one of the top seven European leagues before Chelsea for the 22-year-old winger. This transfer therefore deserves some explanation.

When we draw up the top 50 of the biggest transfers in history, that of Mykhaylo Mudryk is an anomaly. With the exception also of Neymar who landed in 2013 at Barça from the Brazilian championship, all the other players were already part of the seven best championships of the Old Continent (England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Portugal) . Mudryk, meanwhile, comes from the Ukrainian championship, which is only sixteenth in the UEFA coefficients.

Many questions therefore arise from this transfer: can a young player from a smaller championship and bought at a high price directly adapt to a big championship while supporting the pressure of the amount of his transfer? How could a player from the sixteenth European championship cost so much? Why did his club not give in before?

Shakhtar Donetsk, expert in buying and reselling

If the amount of the transaction for Mudryk can leave some amazement, it is not necessarily a surprise when you know the identity of the seller. Indeed, under the reign of Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu, the club has made a specialty of reselling players bought at low prices. In the top 100 of the biggest transfers in history, there are only five players who were not from formations of the seven best European championships. Among these five players, we find Neymar (Santos), Hulk (Zénith Saint-Petersburg), but above all three players sold by the Donbass team (Mudryk, Fred and Alex Teixeira). A very fine achievement for an institution that does not belong to a major European championship.

In all three cases, the club founded in 1936 has made excellent capital gains. Brazilian international Fred, obtained against a check for fifteen million euros (at SC Internacional in 2013), was sold five years later to Manchester United for 59 million euros, almost four times his purchase price . Alex Teixeira, recruited in exchange for six million euros (at Vasco da Gama, 2010), had left Shakhtar Donetsk six years later against a bundle of 50 million euros from Jiangsu Suning, at the time when the teams Chinese overpaid any player to convince him to come to their league. Lovers of Brazilian players, the Minors had also made a good profit on the players Auriverde Fernandinho (32 million profit), Willian (21 million profit) or Douglas Costa (22 million won). However, unlike Fred and Teixeira, the executioner of AS Monaco one evening in August 2021 was neither their age nor their experience.

A strong demand

Already coveted this summer by several English teams (Everton, Arsenal and Brentford), Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen, the Ukrainian club announced that it had refused offers of 35 million euros during the summer transfer window. Aware that a good number of teams wanted to secure the services of his little prodigy, Shakhtar Donetsk raised the stakes for six months. The club’s deputy sporting director Carlo Nicolini announced the color at the end of December to the Italian media Calcio Mercato: “60 million euros is not enough to sign Mudryk. Our manager said we needed a deal closer to Grealish’s fee (recruited for 117 million euros) or Anthony (bought in exchange for 95 million euros) to sell Mudryk. We are not even considering an offer with 40 million as fixed costs. »

Where one would have expected him to end up selling it at a price lower than his expectations, the club from eastern Ukraine combined greed and patience and it paid off. While Arsenal seemed to be the favorites to acquire him, it was ultimately Chelsea who took the lead and doubled their London rivals for a transfer that could reach nine figures. However, it is rumored that the left winger wanted to join the Gunnersevidenced by the abundance of foot calls he made.

Chelsea number 15 will discover the Premier League where he will find Roberto De Zerbi, his former coach at Shakhtar between 2021 and 2022 and now on the Brighton bench. During his tenure at Shakhtar – currently coached by Croatian Igor Jovičević – the Italian technician set himself the goal of advancing the left winger. In recent days, the transalpine coach has been very complimentary with regard to his former nugget: “Mudryk is a fantastic player, I think he can win the Ballon d’Or in the future. » The next few years will tell if this is the case. Nevertheless, if true, a player of this caliber is worth the price.

By Alexander Ross