Why Mykhailo Mudryk was substituted at half-time during his first Chelsea start
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Chelsea manager Graham Potter has revealed why Mykhailo Mudryk was substituted at half-time during Friday's 0-0 draw with Fulham.
The Ukraine international was handed his first start since completing an £88.5 million move from Shakhtar Donetsk in the January transfer window.
Mudryk had impressed in a cameo against Liverpool two weeks ago, coming off the bench and running full-back James Milner ragged.
Supporters and pundits alike were eager to see what Mudryk could do from the off. Against a high-flying Fulham side, he was incredibly ineffective.
The 22-year-old failed to create a single chance or register a shot on target after being shackled by Kenny Tete out wide.
Mudryk didn't emerge for the second half, instead being replaced by Noni Madueke, who showed glimpses of his talent on his Blues debut.
Potter was asked about Mudryk's withdrawal post-match. He claimed the decision was pre-meditated as Mudryk had been battling a cold in the week.
The initial plan was to give the winger an hour to get some minutes into his legs after a lack of football over the last few months.
He explained to beIN SPORTS: "It’s always that way sometimes with the young players. He also had a really heavy cold as well. He’s suffered a little bit with that this week.
"So he was just feeling a little heavy-legged at half-time. We didn’t want to take any risks with him. We had some substitutes, I thought Noni Madueke came on and did really well as well, so that’s a positive for us."
Potter then told Sky Sports: "We didn’t want to take a chance with him.
"He’s still in a process where we’re building up his minutes because of the break that he’s been on in Ukraine. So that was the decision there."
Also making his debut at Stamford Bridge was Enzo Fernandez. The World Cup winner completed a British record £107 million move to Chelsea on deadline day after 20 hours of negotiations between the club's hierarchies.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly was hellbent on getting Fernandez, who won Best Young Player in Qatar last year, and he was thrown straight into the starting XI.