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West Ham just shouldn’t part ways with their £17.5m signing despite Chinese links

Why West Ham should keep hold of Andriy Yarmolenko amidst interest

According to Sky Sports, Chinese outfit Shandong Luneng have targeted West Ham star Andriy Yarmolenko ahead of the new season.

The report suggests that the Hammers boss David Moyes is looking to generate funds for new signings and that could see Yarmalenko end his spell at the London Stadium. The Ukrainian has two more years remaining in his contract with the club.

Profile

Born in Ukraine, Yarmolenko came through the ranks of Desna Chernigiv’s youth system and joined Dynamo Kyiv in 2007. Though he struggled initially with Kyiv, he went on to become a key figure in the squad and made over 300 appearances for the Ukrainian outfit.

Andriy Yarmolenko has been linked with a move to Shandong Luneng (Getty Images)
Andriy Yarmolenko has been linked with a move to Shandong Luneng (Getty Images)

During his time in Kyiv, he helped them lift three league titles, two Ukrainian Cup titles, and three Ukrainian Super Cup titles. He was one of the most successful players in the club’s history. He was also named Ukraine’s Footballer of the Year four times.

He then joined Borussia Dortmund for a year before joining West Ham in a £17.5m deal in the summer of 2018. Since then, he has struggled with injuries but was one of the best players last season.

Yarmolenko’s experience could be crucial for West Ham

At the moment, only four natural wingers are available at Moyes’ disposal. Felipe Anderson has failed miserably and hasn’t lived up to the expectations. Robert Snodgrass did a decent job last season but he is already 33 and is reaching the twilight of his career.

Andriy Yarmolenko has struggled with injuries in the last couple of seasons (Getty Images)
Andriy Yarmolenko has struggled with injuries in the last couple of seasons (Getty Images)

Jarrod Bowen was signed in January and the youngster has forced his way into the starting XI. Yarmolenko is the only other option. They need to keep hold of the Ukrainian as Anderson has struggled. Moreover, they have also sold Grady Diangana.

Thus, holding on to Yarmolenko would be a wise decision by the club. The former Kyiv man struggled with injuries in the last couple of seasons but he ended the previous campaign as their third-highest goalscorer, with 5 goals to his name. He could be useful to the squad this season.

Andiry Yarmolenko (R) in action against Newcastle United (Getty Images)
Andriy Yarmolenko (R) in action against Newcastle United (Getty Images)

The 30-year-old is capable of playing anywhere across the frontline and his versatility could be a boost to the squad. He has also made nearly 400 career appearances and his experience would surely benefit the club.

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Verdict

With Diangana’s exit and Anderson’s future uncertain, it is clear that West Ham lack enough quality up front. Thus, they should keep hold of Yarmolenko, who is capable of doing well if he stays away from injuries. He could be a key player for the Hammers next season.

Despite the limited role, Newcastle’s new deal for 29-year-old star represents smart business

Jesus Corona celebrates after scoring a goal (Getty Images)

With their offer just £5m short of release clause, Wolves would be wise to push hard for this 27-year-old star