Roberto De Zerbi ‘hopes’ Frank Lampard benches Mykhailo Mudryk for Chelsea’s clash with Brighton
Posted by  badge Boss on Apr 14
Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton face Chelsea this weekend (Picture: Getty)

Roberto De Zerbi says he ‘hopes’ his former player stays on the bench for ’s Premier League clash against Brighton.

Mudryk has made an underwhelming start to his Stamford Bridge career and is yet to score in 10 appearances since an .

But De Zerbi has no doubts that Mudryk will come good at Chelsea and says he has a ‘special relationship’ with the 22-year-old following the time they spent together at Shakhtar.

Mudryk may get another chance to impress Blues fans on Saturday when in-form Brighton visit Stamford Bridge, but Seagulls boss De Zerbi hopes he remains on the sidelines.

‘Me and my staff have a special relationship [with Mudryk],’ De Zerbi said at his pre-match press conference. ‘He is like a son to us.

‘I hope he stays on the bench and doesn’t play but I love him. We hope the best for him… from the next game.

‘I think for Chelsea it has been a difficult season but they are still a big, big, big team. One season can happen like this. For any young player it is more difficult to adapt to another country and another style of football.

Mykhailo Mudryk played under De Zerbi at his last club (Picture: Getty)

‘Chelsea have many big players and I think it is a normal situation for him, he has to adapt and to understand his life has changed but I think he is good, smart guy. He can become a top, top player.’

In a , De Zerbi said: ‘Mudryk is a top player and I think for him, it’s difficult to start in another country, in another team.

‘Everyone knows the situation of Chelsea this year, it’s very difficult especially for a young player, for a young guy. But he has the quality to become a star in the Premier League.’

Chelsea sit 11th in the Premier League – 17 points outside the Champions League places and 34 behind leaders Arsenal – ahead of Saturday’s clash in west London.

Brighton, meanwhile, are seventh and chasing European football with 10 league games yet to play.

Revealing his prediction for the fixture, former Premier League striker Chris Sutton told : ‘I was in Madrid in midweek to cover Chelsea, who have not scored a goal in any of their past four games. Their drought has now lasted more than six hours in total.

‘The way Brighton play might suit Chelsea in some respects – the Blues had a couple of early chances against Real on the counter-attack – but I don’t really know what system Frank Lampard will try this time.

‘Lampard used a back four in last weekend’s defeat by Wolves in his first game back in charge, but went with a back three in the Champions League. Whichever way he has played, it hasn’t worked because they haven’t found the net.

Frank Lampard and Chelsea need a result against Brighton (Picture: Getty)

‘Everyone viewed Lampard’s appointment as short-term, just until the end of the season, but I am sure he harboured hopes of doing enough to get it permanently – and this been the worst possible start for him.

‘He needs a couple of of big results, and quickly, if he is going to turn things around but this is going to be a difficult game for Chelsea to get anything from.

‘Brighton will quite rightly be smarting from the manner of their defeat by Tottenham last week and the wrong decisions that went against them.

‘The Seagulls have one way of playing, and they are a brilliant team to watch. They deserved so much more against Spurs, but I have a feeling they will get their rewards this week and win 2-1.’


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