Mauricio Pochettino explains decision to play Chelsea star out of position | Football

Mykhailo Mudryk played as a No.10 in Chelsea’s win over Leeds (Photo: Getty)

Mauricio Pochettino says he was ‘happy’ with Mykhailo Mudryk’s performance playing in a different attacking role for Chelsea.

Mudryk has struggled greatly since move to Stamford Bridge just over a year ago in a deal that could be worth up to £89million.

The winger has registered just five goals and five assists in 44 appearances for the Blues so far

Pochettino has never seemed to fully trust the 23-year-old, with the likes of Cole Palmer, Raheem Sterling and Noni Madueke ahead in the pecking order.

Mudryk has almost always exclusively started on the left-wing for Chelsea, but against Leeds United on Wednesday, he was deployed in a No.10 role behind Nicolas Jackson, with Madueke and Sterling on the flanks.

The tactic appeared to work, with the Ukraine international scoring the second goal of the 3-2 win which puts the club through to the FA Cup quarter-finals, where they’ll face Championship leaders Leicester.

In the meantime, Chelsea travel to west London rivals Brentford on Saturday as they aim to climb into the top-half of the Premier League.

In his pre-match press conference on Friday, Pochettino opened up more on the decision to play Mudryk in a new role, saying: ‘I think it was a good opportunity with four offensive players, like Madueke, Sterling, Nico and him, to try and find and help him to be involved in the game and be more connected.

‘I was happy.

‘He finished the game on the left side, no? But for him it gives him different opportunities to feel the game and to help him be connected with the team.

‘It was a position that forced him to be more involved and read the game in a different way than when you play on the left side.’

We’ll have to wait and see whether Pochettino sticks to this tactic for the clash against the Bees.

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