‘Chelsea, Villa and Sevilla; Thanks for the memories Yarmo’

Expectation was high - as were his wages - but Holly Worthington explains how injuries halted our Ukrainian express and he never recovered

Following confirmation that Andriy Yarmolenko will be leaving the club this summer, I wanted to reflect on his time at West Ham. While he may have had a turbulent time at West Ham, there is no denying that Yarmolenko has been a great asset to the team, scoring when it mattered most.

A key example of this was his last minute goal against Chelsea in July 2020 to help us avoid relegation.

Amidst fond memories of the winger cutting in on his left foot, his last two goals have no doubt been the most memorable.  

In his first game since war broke out in Ukraine, Yarmolenko scored against Aston Villa to break the deadlock, paying an emotional tribute to his home country. Just four days later, Yarmolenko slotted home in the 112th minute against Sevilla to take us to the Europa League Quarter-Finals.

What could have been

But what could have been after we signed him from Borussia Dortmund for £17.5m in July 2018? His high wages left expectations equally high but after scoring a brace in his fifth appearance against Everton and another goal two games later, the future looked bright for the Ukrainian forward.

Just three months into his West Ham career, a ruptured achilles tendon saw Yarmolenko sidelined from October 2018 until the end of the season. Once he had returned to fitness, he began performing again, scoring three goals in his first six games back.

Unfortunately, a second major injury saw Yarmolenko unable to play between December 2019 and March 2020 with a torn abductor muscle.  After this, he struggled to find the same form, rarely getting more than 15 minutes of game time. Spending most of the 20/21 season injured or benched, it became clear that Yarmolenko no longer fitted into David Moyes’ system.

Good luck Yarmo

Scoring 13 goals and recording seven assists in 86 West Ham first team appearances, it will be an emotional farewell to the Ukrainian forward.

Ultimately, given his high wages and the small amount of game time he was able to get, it wouldn’t make sense for him or the club to agree to a new deal. While his future may not be at the club, I have no doubt that he will go on to be a success wherever he goes next, providing he can avoid injury. Good luck Yarmolenko.

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