After failing to sign a striker in the January transfer window, David Moyes will once again be looking within the existing West Ham squad for forward options. With Michail Antonio the only senior striker in the squad, could Andriy Yarmolenko be the answer Moyes is looking for?
Yarmolenko is second only to Andriy Shevchenko in terms of international goals with 36 for his country. The former Dortmund forward also notched 137 goals for Dynamo Kyiv, making him the clubs all-time goal scorer.
Signed by Manuel Pellegrini for a fee of £17.5 million from Dortmund back in July of 2018, the skilful winger known for his clinical finishing was a marquee signing with bags of experience scoring goals against some of Europe’s most elite sides.
Since the arrival of David Moyes, Yarmolenko has seen his opportunities limited due to the arrivals of Jarrod Bowen and more recently Saïd Benrahma, but he still has a crucial part to play as West Ham continue to push in search of European football.
After West Ham’s most recent win over Aston Villa, the Hammers currently sit on 38 points just two points off a Champions League spot.
With West Ham fans dream of European football now becoming a very real prospect, Yarmolenko’s experience at the top level is irreplaceable given the lack of investment from the board.
The Ukrainian international’s West Ham career has been plagued by injuries but in the 35 appearances, he’s worn claret and blue he’s managed ten goals in all competitions.
There is no doubt Yarmolenko perhaps has his best days behind him, but his clinical finishing ability must not be underestimated. A player that doesn’t have the most impressive goal tally, but seems to score whenever he plays.
His winning goal in West Ham’s 3-2 win over Chelsea last season was undoubtedly a key factor in saving us from relegation. His experience and ability to play anywhere across the forward line can offer Moyes a new dimension, as well as an invaluable dressing room presence.
Yarmolenko is the perfect role model for a young striker such as Ademipo Odubeko looking to make a breakthrough into the first team. The 31-year-olds days as a starter be drawing to a close but his goal against Chelsea last season certainly won’t be the last important goal he scores for West Ham.