Roberto De Zerbi sends message to Mykhailo Mudryk ahead of Brighton vs Chelsea | Football

Roberto De Zerbi says Mykhailo Mudryk is a ‘big, big talent’ for Chelsea (Brighton)

Roberto De Zerbi believes Mykhailo Mudryk is improving at Chelsea and has praised Mauricio Pochettino’s handling of the winger.

Mudryk moved to Chelsea in an £89 million deal from Shakhtar Donetsk just over a year ago but has struggled to deliver consistent performances since joining the Premier League.

The winger has showed signs of promise in Chelsea’s last three wins over Tottenham, West Ham and Nottingham Forest, a game in which he scored his fifth Premier League goal of the season.

And De Zerbi, who managed Mudryk during his time as Shakhtar head coach, insists the Ukraine international has plenty of room to develop.

‘I think he’s improving,’ De Zerbi said of Mudryk.

‘I think it was tough for him, changing country, changing the level of difficulty of the league. The competition inside of Chelsea’s squad is higher than Shakhtar.

Brighton & Hove Albion Head Coach Roberto de Zerbi speaks to his former player Mykhailo Mudryk of Chelsea

Roberto De Zerbi will be reunited with Mykhailo Mudryk once again when Brighton host Chelsea on Weednesday evening (MB Media/Getty)

‘But he’s a smart guy, he loves football and I think the management of the club, of Pochettino, has been right because now he’s playing very well and he’s a big, big talent.’

Asked if he will speak with Mudryk after Brighton’s Premier League clash against Chelsea on Wednesday evening, De Zerbi replied: ‘Yes, for me, especially the young players, but not only the young players, I’m able to create a good relationship.

‘Carlos Baleba, Julio Enciso, Facundo Buonanotte, the relationship is different because they need something more than older players.

‘And for my former players nothing changes. During the game I would like to beat everyone but we can’t forget what we spent together in Ukraine, for sure.

‘I am the first big fan of Mykhailo.’

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