It’s an exciting time to be a West Ham fan after an eventful and fruitful transfer window – and one in which we’ve made a strong signing in 28-year-old Ukrainian striker Andriy Yarmolenko. We know he can score goals (35 in 76 matches for Ukraine, 99 in 228 matches for Dynamo Kyiv) but what else can we learn about our future Hammers hero from internet searches and hefty (and perhaps inaccurate) use of translation software? Read on to find out!
He knows how to score against Spurs. Yarmolenko made his first start for Borussia Dortmund against Tottenham in their Champions League Group Stage game at Wembley – and it didn’t take long for him to make his mark on the game. In the 11th minute he scored a fantastic goal from outside the area – a lovely, curling ball which completely eluded Lloris.
Unfortunately, Spurs went on to win the match, but it’s nice to know he’s got experience in scoring wordlies against our London neighbours. He can do that again if he likes.
He’s not big on the ‘gram
He’s a family man, and a private one at that. Most footballers live their off-pitch lives through the medium of Instagram and Twitter, with a nearly endless stream of flash cars and finery – not so for Mr. Yarmolenko. He rarely posts, and when he does, his feed is full of football, friends and family (including his mini-me sons) – it’s largely unstaged, and really rather sweet.
His wife has heart
Ukrainian fitness enthusiast Inna Yarmolenko married Andry in 2011 – and while Andry is putting in work on the pitch, she’s working towards making the world a better place. She is a specialist in Ukrainian foreign relations, works on social action projects, and organises charitable events to promote Eastern European culture overseas.
He’s no stranger to controversy
The quiet family man can be a lot more vocal on and around the pitch – particularly when he feels hard done by – and he’s not afraid to call out other players. In 2013, he was injured by a poor challenge from Shakhtar Donestsk player Taison – and Yarmolenko didn’t hold back. He spoke out, saying “I’m sure that Taison injured me deliberately” and continued on to describe how Taison’s teammates congratulated him for throwing the foul.
Not content with letting sleeping fouls lie, he then publicly released a scan of his doctor’s note detailing the severity of his injuries, alongside a photo of a the Dynamo doctor applying plasters to his groin, to treat injuries including “soft tissues injury, bruise and numerous grazes, groin concussion and rectus muscle hurt”. That’s ‘groin concussion’ and ‘rectus muscle hurt’. Ouch.
He’s not afraid to throw a punch (or two or three)
He was an integral part of a 33 man brawl in the 2016 Shakhtar Donetsk vs Dynamo Kiev match – and in fact, was the player who started it! He kicked out the legs of Taras Stepanenko as Stepanenko was celebrating a goal – almost immediately, players began fighting, subs and coaches ran on the pitch to join in, and the fans contributed by throwing lighted flares onto the pitch. Once the smoke cleared (literally), our boy was the first to be sent off, as he had also punched the daylights out of another player (or two) in the affray.