Ian Wright has criticised Chelsea’s transfer strategy after the club sealed a €100 million (£88.6m) deal to sign Mykhailo Mudryk ahead of Arsenal.
The Gunners were favourites to sign the 21-year-old but despite agreeing personal terms with the winger, they were unable to agree a transfer fee with Shakhtar Donetsk.
Chelsea subsequently swooped in with co-owner Behdad Eghbali and director of global transfers Paul Winstanley travelling to Turkey to negotiate directly with Shakhtar on Saturday before returning to London with Mudryk on their private jet once a deal had been agreed.
Mudryk, meanwhile, has agreed a eight-and-a-half-year contract with Chelsea worth in excess of £100,000 a week.
Wright, who scored 185 goals in 288 appearances during his time at Arsenal, admits his former club were unable to compete with Chelsea’s spending power and suggests the west London side do not have a clear plan for Mudryk.
‘It’s one of those, unfortunately, that we may have missed out on but Arsenal cannot, cannot compete with what Chelsea can offer a player like that,’ Wright told Premier League Productions.
‘We’ve seen was obviously desperate to come to Arsenal, it was quite nice to see and Arsenal fans were quite excited about it.
‘But what’s happening at Arsenal is that they’re on a road to doing something and building something and they see Mudryk as a player who can come in, the way he plays, his attitude, the way he is, would’ve been perfect for the group.
‘But the money they want, Arsenal can’t go there, so you have to move on to the next person simply because we cannot compete with Chelsea.
‘Chelsea can come in, offer him three times as much as we can pay him and pay Shakhtar that kind of money for someone who hasn’t played 50 games yet, eight international caps, it’s one of those situations, for the boy’s sake, I hope he comes and fulfils the potential people see he has.
From a Chelsea point of view, they’ve bought another player that they’re going to put amongst their roster that they’re just trying to fit into whatever they’re doing, I hope it works out for his sake. For Arsenal’s point of view, we’re moving on now.
‘You know what it’s like with people around him, he was earning £3,000, £4,000 a week before [at Shakhtar], he was taking a massive leap to £50,000 a week [with Arsenal], allegedly, and then Chelsea are giving him three times as much.
‘You’re talking about a club is going to sell him because they want the money, the management team around him want to get paid. A seven-year deal, no one turns that down.’
Wright also criticised Chelsea’s new ownership for ‘clearing out’ the previous regime and believes Graham Potter is struggling with the new structure in place.
‘You do feel for him [Potter] simply because when you look at the structure around him at Brighton, the academy, the management team around him, people upstairs, how well run it is to going into a situation like Chelsea’s where there’s a new owner, he’s spending money left, right and centre on everything, he’s bringing players in all over the place, and you’re trying to get your players to play in a system they can all understand and build confidence, which is very difficult for him at the moment because of the injuries,’ Wright said.
‘We’re talking about a club that doesn’t have the patience for that. I cannot understand how the owner can come in, with whatever we think about Chelsea and they way they’ve gone about their business, they’ve won things. Why would you completely clear out what you have done before? Why wouldn’t you stay in there, learn from the people who have been in there? Maybe bring in like-minded people to go to the next level but why would you change the model?
‘He’s totally changed the model. He’s brought in a manager that’s very inexperienced with the calibre of player, and so what’s happening is he’s trying to get it going at a club that needs it to happen now. So the pressure’s building on him, they’re not getting results, they continue to buy players and get injuries. It’s a real mish mash for him, I feel for him.