Chelsea manager Graham Potter will have to find a way to get January signing Mykhailo Mudryk more involved during games after worrying statistics in his last two appearances.
The 22-year-old can make a difference for Chelsea, he showed glimpses of that in his Premier League debut against Liverpool.
Unfortunately, Mudryk has yet to make a similar impact in his last two starts.
Since his cameo at Anfield, the Ukraine international has not registered any shot attempt or any key pass, although he could have had an assist if Kai Havertz’s goal was not ruled out for offside.
He had a cold when playing against Fulham and only played in the first half, so it is not entirely fair to judge him from this match, but his lack of impact against West Ham is what Potter should worry about.
The problem is clear. The ball simply did not reach Mudryk often enough for him to make an impact.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk winger touched the ball 29 times in over an hour at the London Stadium. To put it into perspective, he had 28 touches against Liverpool despite playing half the minutes.
Noni Madueke who also stayed as long on the pitch had 43 touches against West Ham, Joao Felix played the full 90 minutes and had 66 touches.
So, why did Mudryk receive fewer passes than these two?
Some would argue that Marc Cucurella’s poor form played a part, but Enzo Fernandez mainly operates on the left, too, and did impressively well.
Mudryk’s staying wide throughout the game is likely the bigger issue.
While this helped stretched West Ham’s defence and provided Felix more space to operate in the middle of the pitch, Mudryk is simply more effective when playing as an inside forward.
Rather than instructing Cucurella to stay close to the two centre-backs, Potter should consider playing the defender wider and allow Mudryk more freedom in the final third.
If Madueke can benefit from Reece James’ overlapping runs, so can Mudryk if his left-back gives the opposition defenders more threats to deal with.
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