Transfer Focus

Arsenal have excellent Cody Gakpo alternative in Mykhaylo Mudryk

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Arsenal remain in the thick of transfer rumours surrounding Ukrainian ace Mykhaylo Mudryk’s pending future, with Gunner and compatriot Oleksandr Zinchenko urging his side to swoop for the sensation.

What’s the word?

Mudryk has been a name at the top of the transfer discourse at the Emirates Stadium in recent months, with boss Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu allegedly touting the player for several months now. 

Indeed, The Sun reported last month that the Gunners are amongst the wealth of top European outfits vying for the “Ukrainian Neymar’s” signature, having failed to sign the player in the summer

And the player has since been in fine fettle for Shakhtar Donetsk, scoring seven goals this season and assisting the same number, including striking three times and grabbing two assists in the Champions League group phase.

Excellent Gakpo alternative

Mudryk is not the only sought-after winger on the European stage on Arsenal’s radar, with PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo also a name being considered by the Gunners hierarchy. 

Whilst Gakpo pips Mudryk in several key areas, such as direct goal contributions this term – the 23-year-old PSV winger has 13 goals and 17 assists in 23 matches – it’s worth noting Mudryk has played nine fewer matches and been competing in the Champions League, as opposed to the Europa League. 

Gakpo is valued at roughly £31.5m on Transfermarkt, over £20m more than his Ukrainian counterpart, and would likely demand a central role in the Gunners project, whilst Mudryk, two years younger, could integrate into the set-up with more patience, learning from the likes of positional peer Gabriel Martinelli and international teammate Zinchenko.

As per FBref, both players rank in the top 1% for non-penalty goals when compared to positional players across respective categories, with Mudryk against those in Europe’s big five leagues and Gakpo against Europe’s next eight divisions.

It is a testament to Mudryk that he boasts largely similar statistics to Gakpo in this regard, despite facing a higher calibre of opposition, and would be a sterling addition to Arterta’s side as he looks to bolster the ranks and clinch the Premier League title for the north London club. 

Journalist Sacha Pisani once lauded the £13m-rated star as a “baller”, and it’s clear to see why as the performances only rise with each passing gameweek, and at just 21-years-old he will only continue to grow into the boots that will likely forge a successful career on the continental stage. 

Additionally, Mudryk has eight caps for his national team and could forge a cohesive and fluid partnership down the left flank with compatriot Zinchenko, whose range of passing and selfless, assured approach could pave the way to success in north London for the wily winger.

As such, technical director Edu Gaspar should consider a move for the Shakthar gem over the coveted PSV sensation this winter.

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