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Transfer talk: Why Liverpool and Arsenal want Ukraine star Mykhaylo Mudryk

For the second time in two weeks, Mykhaylo Mudryk will be looking to make his mark on a Scottish team.

After scoring in Shakhtar Donetsk’s 1-1 draw with Celtic last Wednesday, the 21-year-old will represent Ukraine against Scotland tonight.

The lightning-fast Mudryk is establishing himself as one of the hottest prospects in European football – but who is the winger and what does the future hold?

Rise to the top

Born in Krasnohrad, Mudryk spent time at the Metalist Kharkiv and Dnipro academies before joining Shakhtar.

He spent time on loan at Arsenal Kyiv and Desna Chernihiv before rising to his parent club’s first team in the last 12 months.

Mudryk scored twice and assisted nine in 19 games in all competitions last season before the season was curtailed by Russia’s invasion of his homeland.

catch the eye

Mykhaylo Mudryk has impressed in Champions League clashes with RB Leipzig and Celtic this season
Mykhaylo Mudryk has impressed in Champions League clashes with RB Leipzig and Celtic this season

Mudryk’s amazing talent has gotten Premier League clubs to take notice.

Brentford were already delighted in January, Everton had turned down a £26m offer in August and Arsenal have also been heavily linked with the winger.

But Shakhtar hold Mudryk so highly that no deal will come cheap – especially given his Champions League performances this season.

Shakhtar’s director of football Darijo Srna said: “Mudryk is a great talent.

“After Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Junior, he is the best player in Europe in his position.

“If someone wants to buy Mudryk, they have to spend a lot, a lot, a lot of money and respect our club and our president.”

Performances on the biggest stage

In two Champions League games this season, Mudryk has scored two goals and provided two more assists.

He met Marian Shved in the 4-1 win over RB Leipzig to give Shakhtar a 2-1 lead before his cross put it on a plate for Lassina Traore for the fourth.

Between those two assists, he showed plenty of composure to smack a left-footed shot into the bottom corner when played through one-on-one.

And against Celtic he used his blistering pace to outrun the Bhoys defense and blasted a try into the roof of the net to give them a tie.

The statistics

Mykhaylo Mudryk has scored with both shots in this year's Champions League
Mykhaylo Mudryk has scored with both shots in this year’s Champions League

Those performances put him in lofty company after two games of this year’s competition.

Only Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski have scored more goals while Joao Cancelo is the only player with more assists.

His goals came from just two shots, showing his clinical nature, and he’s also attempted seven take-ons and completed four of them.

Mudryk has managed to do all of this in a side unloved in the Champions League who now sit behind holders Real Madrid in Group F.

Eyes on the Premier League

The Premier League is a dream destination for many players and Mudryk is no different.

Although a move to Arsenal in August never materialized and Everton fell short of their rating, it’s clear the youngster would be interested.

“I think everyone dreams of the Premier League,” he said two weeks ago.

“Yes yes, it’s hard to say but Arsenal are a very good team. Very good manager, I like the way they play.

“From my side, I can’t say no. But a transfer is not just my decision and my word.”

Where is it best?

With Liverpool now expected to join Bayer Leverkusen and Sevilla, it’s not an easy decision for Mudryk.

The Reds have been one of the dominant forces in Europe in recent seasons but boast a wealth of attacking talent including January’s new signing and fellow winger Luis Diaz.

Arsenal therefore look a smart choice for the Ukrainian if he moves to England.

Having loaned Nicolas Pepe to Nice, they are lacking quality options and could use support for Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and co.

The presence of national team-mate Oleksandr Zinchenko should only strengthen the Gunners’ position.

Mikel Arteta’s revolution is picking up steam in the Emirates, luckily Mudryk has already shown he can keep up.

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