Levi Colwill believes Chelsea team-mate Mykhailo Mudryk can be “one of the best in the world” and hopes the winger can now kick on after scoring his first goal for the Blues.
Mudryk has struggled to tie down a starting spot at Stamford Bridge since his big-money move from Shakhtar Donetsk in January and, prior to Monday’s trip to local rivals Fulham, had not managed a single goal for his new club.
However, he finally broke his goalscoring duck with the opener in a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage and Colwill, who set up the goal with a fine pass, hopes it will do the 22-year-old Ukraine international the power of good.
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“It was amazing, I’m so happy for him (Mudryk), luckily I found him,” Colwill said.
“Of course he deserves the goal. He’s a great player, he could be one of the best in the world and he needs to kick on from here and hopefully he can push on.”
Mudryk, who has now started the last three Premier League matches for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, was replaced at half-time against Fulham due to a niggle but defender Colwill felt the £88million man showed exactly what he is capable of before being forced out.
He added: “It’s been tough for him since he joined but during the first half he was amazing and I think everyone can see the qualities he has. We see it all the time in training, he’s such a good player.
“To come here and bring it for the first half was amazing and he has to build from it.
“He’s got everything. Everything you want as a winger.
“It’s tough coming from Ukraine to Chelsea and it’s a pressure he might not have experienced with the different culture too. So it’s always going to be tough but soon we’ll see the player he is.”
Mudryk’s 18th-minute opener against Fulham was quickly followed by an Armando Broja goal as Chelsea claimed only their second Premier League win of the season.
Broja started ahead of the suspended Nicolas Jackson up front and netted his first goal since returning from the cruciate ligament injury he suffered last year.
“I’m so happy for him, it was a long time he was out injured. He came back and has been working so hard to come into the side and score which is the best way to come back,” said Colwill, who believes having increased competition for places will help push both Broja and Jackson.
“One hundred per cent. They’re both great strikers so to have that battle day in day out for starting positions is going to be good for both of them, they’re both going to learn and when they come on the pitch they have got to take their chances.
“Armando has got everything, he’s a problem. I’d hate to play against him. He’s big and strong and takes his chances.”
Fulham boss Marco Silva felt his side were not aggressive enough which allowed Chelsea to strike twice in two minutes and claim west London derby bragging rights.
He said: “It’s a disappointing result for us in certain moments and in terms of performance. The first half was not aggressive enough on and off the ball. We were flat in some moments and were not dynamic.
“They got behind Harrison Reed, Joao Palhinha, our midfield and caused some problems for us.
“When the game was balanced they scored the first goal and we were too passive the way we reacted to Colwill’s cross and after that we were punished by another mistake by ourselves (Tim Ream).”