Stan Collymore believes new Chelsea signing Mykhailo Mudryk could evolve into the European powerhouse that Gareth Bale eventually became.
Speaking to CaughtOffside, Collymore predicted a parallel progression between the latest Stamford Bridge recruit and the former Real Madrid attacker.
Mudryk was officially confirmed as Chelsea player yesterday, following his transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk.
The 22-year-old greeted the Stamford Bridge crowd on Sunday at half-time during the Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace.
Big things are expected of the Ukrainian international after the club worked swiftly to sign him ahead of Arsenal.
Could Mudryk be the man for Chelsea?
His £89m price tag will not do much to quell the anticipation surrounding Mudryk’s arrival at Cobham.
He is Chelsea’s second most expensive player, and the fifth of all time in the Premier League.
It is slightly pricier than the £85.3m that Real Madrid shelled out for Bale in 2013, at the time a world record transfer.
This fee was largely justified, with the retired Wales international winning five Champions League trophies and three La Liga titles.
Bale set sail for Spain after turning into a titan whilst still in Tottenham Hotspur colours.
A change that Collymore suggested could happen to Mudryk as well.
“I think he’ll get physically bigger and stronger as he develops at Chelsea similar to how Gareth Bale developed at Spurs,” said the ex-striker.
“Both left-wingers, both have that ability to blast past opposition players so if there was a comparison to be made, I think Mudryk could replicate the type of player Bale was.”
Football needs a new Bale, now the serial silverware collector has hung up his boots.
Chelsea wouldn’t mind fostering such a flourish, especially if it delivered them the grandest European prize once again.