Gym bunny Mudryk spends hours doing weights after training… but has so far only proven himself as Chelsea's darts king | The Sun

MYKHAILO MUDRYK has so far saved his best for the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia.

Chelsea’s £88million winger was a demon at darts and table tennis in the players’ lounge during the summer tour of the US.

So there is nothing wrong with Mudryk’s hand-eye co-ordination, say club insiders.

But there are people at Stamford Bridge hoping and praying that Mudryk will come out of his shell soon on the football pitch.

Because one of Ukraine’s most promising players is yet to deliver on his significant transfer fee.

Whether that is his fault or not is a matter of opinion. But with just under eight years left on his contract, there is plenty of time to either cheer or lament one of last season’s most curious signings.

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Mudryk, 22, cost Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly an initial £62m in January with the rest coming in a heck of a lot of add-ons — bonuses paid upon winning things, appearances, that sort of thing.

The well-meaning joke doing the rounds at Stamford Bridge is that Chelsea are a long way off paying the next instalment because Mudryk is miles away from cementing his place in the mind of head coach Mauricio Pochettino.

He started his first game for ­Chelsea last January in a goalless draw at Fulham, playing for a team that was in tailspin. He lasted 45 minutes.

It has been fits and starts ever since, with a total of 20 appearances and no goals.

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This season under Poch has brought 67 minutes spread across three games from the bench.

Mudryk needs experience but also must show he deserves more game time in a classic chicken-and-egg situation at Stamford Bridge.

Those who know him say the over-riding aspect of his character is shyness.

Juggling humility with a huge price-tag does not come easy.

Particularly to a naive kid at a vastly different stage of his career to many of those he shares a dressing room with.

He is pals with Ukraine and Arsenal left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko, who he could line up with in Saturday’s Euro 2024 qualifier against England.

However, Zinchenko, a four-time Premier League winner, has just welcomed a new baby into his family.

Little chance of the two London-based stars bonding over a night out for the next 16 years.

Ukraine legend and former Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko, a frequent visitor to London, has also spent time with Mudryk, trying to coax him into life.

There have been several informal chats with Pochettino.

Club sources say Mudryk is ‘unreal’ in training. He is jet-fast and skilful when relaxed.

What England may see this weekend is a hugely talented young player at his best when in the comfort zone of his compatriots.

He asked to drop back into the Under-21s this summer to play in the European Championship. Find a young, English Premier League player volunteering for that.

As just one of a swathe of new, youthful signings at Stamford Bridge over the past 15 months and most on long-term deals, there are bound to be comparisons among Chelsea’s next generation.

Midfielder Enzo Fernandez is the same age as Mudryk yet arrived in the same month as a World Cup winner with Argentina.

Moises Caicedo is a year younger and a British-record transfer after two years in the Premier League.

Mudryk has come straight from the modest level of the Ukrainian league. He still has family back home while war rages with Russia.

That is a lot to contend with for a young man who might well be just graduating from university if he had chosen another path.

Others who work with Mudryk every day say he is a gym bunny, spending hours working out with weights after training finishes.

It sounds good but there are those who fear it is because he has no outside life yet.

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His English is coming on but it is still a long way from feeling comfortable in conversation.

Mudryk needs to talk the talk and walk the walk for club and country.

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