Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino has allayed fears that Mykhailo Mudryk and Moises Caicedo could miss upcoming games through injuries suffered against Fulham on Monday night.
The Blues won the west London derby to collect just their second Premier League victory of the season and also snap an almost 18-month streak of failure to beat teams above them in the table.
Mudryk, who has struggled more than most since joining Chelsea in a big-money transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk, scored his first goal for the club. There was also one for home-grown striker Armando Broja on his first start since returning from long-term injury.
Having scored the opening goal 18 minutes in, Mudryk went off at half-time. Broja also left the game just after the hour mark, although he quickly told talkSPORT it was “precautionary”. Caicedo eventually limped off deep into stoppage time near the end of the contest.
“I hope with Mykhailo it’s not a big issue, because he felt something in the first half,” Pochettino said, via the Evening Standard.
“I hope it is nothing and he’ll be available for Saturday [against Burnley]. It’s something in his quad in the first half. He didn’t feel comfortable playing.”
Caicedo’s issue was explained to have been a “contusion”.
Both Mudryk, 22, and Caicedo, 21, have struggled to justify monstrous price tags thus far. Pochettino recently said the former lacked “understanding” and still needed to put in the work to adapt. The boss has even taken unusual steps to try and build his confidence by engaging in crossbar challenge games and tasking Mudryk with having the belief to beat him.
Elaborating on the Ukrainian’s development following Monday night’s game, Pochettino said: “It’s about maturity, adaptation. When you arrive in a team, it’s not easy to settle because, being honest, [we have] too many young players so it’s not solid. This is difficult, but it’s about patience. It’s about trusting these guys. It’s a massive job, step by step. We need to keep improving.”
READ THE LATEST CHELSEA NEWS, TRANSFER RUMOURS & GOSSIP