According to Sky Sports, Borussia Dortmund star Andriy Yarmolenko has arrived at West Ham’s training camp in Switzerland to take a medical with the Premier League club – in what’s already looking like one of the potential coups of the summer.
Indeed, the 28-year-old struggled to make his mark during his only season with the German outfit, scoring just thrice in the Bundesliga, but his record at Dynamo Kiev was exceptional, netting 137 goals in 341 appearances, and the 6 foot 3 winger’s imposing frame certainly suits the physicality of the Premier League.
But could there be unforeseen ramifications to this deal, and is it really in West Ham’s best interests? Football FanCast take a look at the potential consequences – some good, some bad – of Yarmolenko’s seemingly imminent arrival…
There’s been surprise talk of West Ham moving to re-sign Dimitri Payet over the last week or so, with Marseille reportedly looking to sell a player who won the hearts of the Irons faithful before breaking them just 18 months down the line by insisting upon a return to the Ligue 1 club. Because of his immense quality and talismanic performances for the east Londoners, there are plenty of West Ham fans who’d welcome the Frenchman back with open arms.
Breaking: West Ham close to record signing of Felipe Anderson from Lazio. Increased offer. Deal close to £40m according to Italian sources. More on @MailSport soon
— Lee Clayton (@LeeClayton_) July 9, 2018
But a big-money move for Yarmolenko strongly suggests any links with Payet are just pure hearsay. Not only do Payet and the Ukrainian international play in similar positions, but they’ll also likely cost a similar amount of money and it seems incredibly unlikely the club will be able to bring in both while acquiring the other prime targets on their hitlist – such as Lazio’s Felipe Anderson.
In terms of who Yarmolenko could force out of the team, the obvious answer is Michail Antonio. 2016/17 was a brilliant season for the industrious wide-man but he struggled to have the same impact last time out and in terms of technical ability, he doesn’t quite meet what Manuel Pellegrini usually demands from his players either.
Yarmolenko is an undoubted upgrade and earlier in the summer, Antonio was being strongly linked with a move to Crystal Palace. The South Londoners seem like a good fit for the former Nottingham Forest star through the flying winger style Roy Hodgson’s adopted and with his contract still not due to expire for another three years, the Hammers should be able to fetch a decent enough sum for the versatile winger.
Having arrived at West Ham as more of a wide-forward but emerged as their most trusted central option throughout the course of last season, there’s some confusion over where Arnautovic will be played by Pellegrini – whether he’ll continue to lead the line or return to the wing.
But signing two wide men in Yarmolenko and Anderson suggests that firstly Pellegrini isn’t devoting much of his summer transfer budget to a new centre-forward and secondly that he’s already made plans to fill the spaces on the flanks.
In fairness, the centre-forward slot was responsible for nine of Arnautovic’s eleven goals and five of his six assists in the Premier League last term, so perhaps keeping the Austrian there is a smart move from the new West Ham boss.
So, West Ham fans, are you keen for Pellegrini to sign Yarmolenko? Let us know by voting below…