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Swansea City : The Mykola Kukharevych mystery really does need explaining
Wednesday, 14th Feb 2024 14:48 by Keith Haynes

A variety of name spellings for Swansea City’s centre forward are most certainly not the reason for his continued exclusion for a start or substitute appearance this season. Yes, he’s featured, and scored a well taken goal at Millwall, but since his injury and return we have only seen him on the bench bar eleven minutes.

Until Mykola came to the Swans last summer he was a Ukrainian U21 internarional with fifteen caps and three goals. At Hibernian where he was on loan last season, again injury affected, we saw a return of five goals in fifteen games.

His rumoured transfer fee is in the region of £2,000,000, figures are scarce but he has had nine appearances this season. However, that is only just over a hundred minutes in total. The longest period he has spent on the pitch is forty five minutes, and in that game he bagged a well taken header away at Millwall. He has been on the bench for the last five games, not seeing any action, when the Swans were desperate for ‘something different’ other than switching Liam Cullen and Jerry Yates. Jamal Lowe is still in recovery, so what better time to see what he can bring to a game ? Last night at home to Leeds was a prime example. Jerry Yates came on in the second half and spent most of his time out manoeuvred, slow to react or sitting on the floor complaining. Jerry is having a tough time, rumoured to be of interest to a few clubs in January, nothing transpired, and his form since then has been poor.

It has to be said.

Mykola bravely flattens Fulton to score against Millwall

Mykola wasn’t favoured by Alan Sheehan, but he was injured for most of the time Sheehan had the reigns at the club. He did play him away at Southampton on Boxing Day for eleven minutes. Luke Williams has included him on the bench which possibly gives some chance for Mykola in upcoming games. Against Norwich, Plymouth away and Leicester he was brought on for one minute at the end of all those games under Michael Duff, really what’s the point ?

And he has yet to start for the Swans.

When he signed for ES Troyes he was seen as good enough to play against Champions League sides like PSG and Club Brugge. Now he has splinters in the Championship and looks exasperated. There is nothing to say he has fallen out of favour, that’s clear or he wouldn’t be on the bench. It has been muted he just doesn’t cut it in training. Others have remarked to us he just doesn’t fit into the type of play Williams wants. Let us think about that, two fast wingers are now with us, and he is 6’4” He actually offers a different option with his height and mobility. One header at Millwall displayed that. Lee Johnson on signing Mykola for Hibs said, “He’s a young striker that has gained minutes at a high level, and we believe he has all the attributes to be a real success in the Scottish game. Mykola is a different profile to the other strikers we have in the building, and we look forward to working with him.”

Well, Mykola did make his mark, and to secure such a big move in the summer to the Swans indicates he possesses all the skills required. After all, this was a data driven signing with input from Paul Watson and the recruiting team, albeit early days. Isn’t that what we rely on to recruit ? There has to be questions here. The general consensus is that Mykola is just biding his time and will feature in the very near future, We do know today that Jerry Yates is being given extra time to gain confidence and regain belief in his ability. However, that doesn’t explain why Mykola can’t get twenty minutes or so when the Swans are getting walloped, or even go and give him a start.

A view we did take seriously is the Swans are now so data driven, and so reliant on this feature in games and in training that Mykola doesn’t hit the levels required. He just isn’t able to hit the high numbers. That could be an issue, and until he does then the bench is where he is staying for now. Plus, Luke Williams training methods with regards to constant repetition to reproduce ‘actions’ on the pitch is another feature Mykola cannot handle. Luke is a big supporter of psychomotor training ( learning through doing ) and doing brings the results. We believe these final two examples are closest to the answer.

He’s a big striker, he can score goals, and this mystery is only part explained. The next three to four games will definitely reveal the truth.

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