How the summer newcomers showed themselves

“Shakhtar” ended a very difficult first half of the 2022/2023 season with a match against “Vorskla”. Complex in terms of formation of the composition, which was carried out even in the fall. The only advantage of the orange-blacks over other participants of the European Cups from the UPL was that they did not qualify and started in September immediately from the group stage of the Champions League.

Shakhtar’s management and scouts had to roll up their sleeves and work day and night. After all, due to the war and several one-sided new FIFA rules, which protected the interests of the legionnaires of Ukrainian clubs, but stifled the clubs themselves, the people of Donetsk were left without all foreigners from the 2021/2022 season, except Lassina Traore.

The transfer policy vector was determined quickly. The priority options were Ukrainians, preferably brought up in Shakhtar’s system or those who played for Shakhtar, and… necessarily cooperated with Vadym Shabli’s agency company, which may or may not be considered a coincidence. Only Lucas Taylor remained from the Brazilian philosophy, whom Ihor Jovichevich knew well thanks to their joint work in “Dnipro-1”. As well as the Croatian Neven Jurasek, a compatriot of Dario Srna.

How did the newcomers of the orange and black show themselves? Let’s evaluate their contribution on a 10-point scale with the understanding that some of these players can reveal themselves better.

Oleksandr Zubkov

Moved from: “Ferencvaros”
Transfer price: 2 million euros
Rating: 8

A goal against Real Madrid is a priceless thing and an unforgettable event for a football player, especially if it is as beautiful as at the Santiago Bernabeu. And Zubkov scored twice for the royal club. And it is not his fault that these goals brought Shakhtar only one point.

Attempts to play Oleksandr in the position of “nine” were not very successful, although it was in the role of center forward that Zubkov scored in Madrid. It quickly became apparent that the 26-year-old is comfortable playing as a right winger. It is more convenient for him to show his assertiveness (however, the accuracy of passes and the success of dribbling could be better), to move to the center and beat.

Zubkov was in great shape in October. It was in this month that all four of his goals came – two for “Real”, one in the Ukrainian Clasico with “Dynamo” and one more against “Metalist”. Unfortunately, on October 29, Oleksandr suffered a thigh injury in the game with “Alexandria” (unfortunate symbolism), which will cause him to return to the field in 2023.

Maryan Shved

Moved from: “Mechelen”
Transfer price: 1 million euros
Rating: 8

95 minutes for one goal in the Champions League. 54 minutes on average per productive action in the 2022/2023 season for Shakhtar. Maryan Shved’s statistics are impressive. One problem is that we are talking about small numbers. In the Champions League, the Swede has two goals in three matches. In total, the 25-year-old forward has 3+1 in six matches for Shakhtar.

In early October, the Swede ended up in the infirmary due to groin muscle problems. We will see him on the field already in the new year. His exploits in September suggest that Marjan can be effective as a right winger or as a forward, and this is important because Traore has yet to regain his goalscoring flair. Although the competition for these positions is high.

In any case, it should be recalled that the Swede repaid the costs of his transfer with his one double in the winning match against Leipzig in the Champions League. And who knows how the match against RBL in the last round of the Champions League would have turned out if both Shved and Zubkov had been healthy. Shakhtar’s chances would definitely increase.

Bohdan Mykhailychenko

Transferred from: “Anderlecht”
Transfer price: rent
Rating: 7

Even last season, the position of the left defender at Shakhtar was the most equipped. However, Ismaili left, Matvienko is needed in the center of defense, and Kornienko suffered a serious injury already in the second round of the UPL.

It seemed that the way to the base was open for Bohdan Mykhailichenko, but Yukhim Konoplia played on the left in the first two rounds of the Champions League. Then the student of “Dynamo” made his way into the team and made an application for “Shakhtar” to buy out his contract. Mykhailochenko worked well in attack: two assists in matches with Real Madrid, 1+2 in 11 UPL games. In the Champions League, Bohdan has good figures for clearances and interceptions. That does not cancel his mistakes both in transfers and in terms of positional actions. But there are still more positives.

Ivan Petryak

Transferred from: “Fehervar”
Transfer price: 1.5 million euros
Rating: 3

17 matches, one assist (and that one in the UPL) and 547 minutes of playing time – not a lot for a footballer who was paid decent money by today’s standards and given a 4-year contract.

Petryak could have been left without practice at all, if not for the injuries of Zubkov and Shved. After all, he clearly lost the competition for the place of the right winger. And on the left, you can get playing time only if Mudryk needs to rest. Or if Mykhailo leaves in the winter.

In Hungary, Petryak had, one might say, near-star status. He averaged just under one assist per two matches, scoring around 0.25 goals per game. And what kind of level is this in the Hungarian league, if Petryak is not showing anything in the UPL now, believe me?

Andriy Totovytskyi

Moved from: “Colossus”
Transfer price: EUR 0.5 million
Rating: 3

Totovytsky’s statistics are much more modest than Petryak’s. 45 playing minutes, 16 of which are in the Champions League. It is clear that without effective actions. But they paid three times less for him than for Petryak, if Transfermarkt is to be believed.

Totovytskyi proved that he can be a star for such teams as “Desna” or “Mariupol”. But the level of “Shakhtar” does not obey Andrii.

It is characteristic that 29-year-old Totovytskyi and 28-year-old Petryak are the oldest rookies of the Donetsk team this season. And it is they who do the least.

Yehor Nazarina

Moved from: “Zorya”:
Transfer price: EUR 0.8 million
Rating: 5