Andriy Yarmolenko, Arthur Masuaku and Darren Randolph are the three players who appear to be edging towards the departure door from West Ham, but will we miss them playing in claret and blue or is it time to say goodbye?
Cast your mind back to Yarmolenko arriving back in 2018 under Manuel Pellegrini. He came from Borussia Dortmund so we all had high hopes with what he would be able to achieve for us. He made his first start for us away to Everton and scored his first two goals that game – what a performance that was.
Unfortunately, he has suffered two major injuries since and this has really impacted his time at West Ham. But one criticism I personally have of him is his work rate. Without a shadow of a doubt, I can’t be the only person who notices that his arms move quicker than his legs.
The arms are so quick that I wished I could swap his arms and legs around to make him move faster. A moment for Yarmolenko that no West Ham fan will forget would be his winning goal against Chelsea in 2020.
With his left foot (what other foot would he use?!) he put it in the bottom corner for us to take all three points against the blues. Yarmolenko has an amazing international record for his country and proudly represents them as their captain.
And if Yarmolenko departs, I will have some sympathy for him as he really hasn’t been lucky with his injuries here at West Ham.
As for Arthur Masuaku, he’s better than Lukaku or is he? Since we started singing this song all them years ago, he hasn’t seemed to fulfil the lyrics. He is a very skilful player but sometimes I think he believes he’s Ronaldo and does one trick too many which results in him giving the ball away.
He can play absolutely anywhere down the left, but no one seems to know where his best position is. He isn’t the greatest defender and does not beat Cresswell to the starting line-up but is playing left-back really his position?
Masuaku has put on the West Ham shirt over a whopping 90 times but a memory that has always stuck with me is his spitting incident against Wigan Athletic. I remember watching it on TV and being totally confused as to why he was sent off as one of the Wigan players ran over to the ref.
Once the replay was shown after he was sent off, I was disgusted and never seemed to take a liking to Masuaku since. If he does depart, I think it will be the best for him as he is a talented player who can play decent football. It’s just trying to find his best position down the left-hand side for him.
King Darren Randolph, a goalkeeper who I can’t fault from his outstanding performance against Liverpool in the cup back in 2016. Back at Upton Park that night Randolph had one of the best games of his career. Save after save but these just weren’t any easy saves; these were crucial saves that he made to keep us in the game.
A memory that I won’t forget as well is my Dad actually starting off one of the worst chants ever that everyone in the Lower Bobby Moore stand joined in on: ‘Randolph, Randolph, Randolph’ just because he was doing these incredible saves, we had to show him some appreciation with a quick chant.
For the last three games of the 15/16 season, Randolph got called up due to Adrian picking up an injury. Meaning that Randolph was going to be the last ever West Ham goalkeeper to play in goal at Upton Park – what a memory that is for him.
In July 2016, Randolph signed a new four-year contract and then left the very next year to Middlesbrough where he was their first team keeper. Three years later Randolph returned to West Ham where he would be our substitute goalie and play in the cup games.
Other than money; What motivates a player to go from playing in a first team to sitting on the bench? I can only wish to believe he just loves the club. He has been at West Ham around five years and only played 33 games.
He still happily sits on the bench now for cup games, but I really wish that he would go and play first team as he is a decent player.