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Chelsea

‘It was different!’ - Kepa on Chelsea’s mid-game Mudryk announcement & being left in the dark on £89m transfer

8:55 AM EST 1/16/23
Mykhailo Mudryk Chelsea
Kepa Arrizabalaga admits Chelsea stars were left in the dark regarding a deal for Mykhailo Mudryk until a “different” mid-game transfer announcement.
  • Ukraine winger snapped up from Shakhtar
  • Blues in action when deal confirmed
  • Another attacking option for Potter

WHAT HAPPENED? The Blues left it late to join the bidding for Ukraine international winger Mudryk, with Premier League rivals Arsenal seemingly leading the chase for his signature at one stage, but an £89 million ($109m) deal was completed on Sunday. Chelsea were in action against Crystal Palace when the big-money signing was officially confirmed, with Kepa admitting that Graham Potter’s squad only realised the move had gone through when the 22-year-old was paraded on the Stamford Bridge pitch during the interval of a 1-0 derby win.

WHAT THEY SAID: Kepa told reporters of Chelsea taking an unusual approach to recruitment by announcing arrivals in the middle of a match: “It was a different way to announce it! It felt a bit like 'is it happening or isn’t it happening?' But then we saw him arrive at half-time because we were in the changing room. We are happy to have him at the club and maybe we can meet each other tomorrow. He is a big player who comes here to help and all the best to him. We hope they can all help our season, everyone wants that. We have the Champions League coming in February. It is in our head that we are not in the cups so it is about Premier League and Champions League. We have to go step-by-step, improve and make our team stronger to fight for everything.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mudryk, who has been handed the No.15 shirt in west London, will be eligible to aid Chelsea’s Champions League quest as three new players can be added to any given squad prior to the knockout rounds getting underway – with the Blues set to face Borussia Dortmund in the last-16 of elite European competition.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Mudryk will hope to have plenty of minutes under his belt by the time Chelsea face Dortmund, with Potter’s side – who have been struggling for consistency of late – due to be back in Premier League action on Saturday when taking in a testing trip to Liverpool.