West Ham United must unearth an alternative solution rather than turning to Andriy Yarmolenko after the Ukraine forward let David Moyes down against Burnley on Saturday.
Moyes introduced Yarmolenko to the action in place of Jarrod Bowen as he strived to close out the game with eight minutes still to play, as the Irons sought to seal a 1-0 win to move inside the top-half of the Premier League table.
It was the ninth time this season that Moyes has introduced the 31-year-old from the bench during a top-flight fixture, having only started Yarmolenko once outside of the cup competitions when Bowen was initially rested at Southampton last month.
Yarmolenko’s presence on the field was hardly noticed against Burnley, having seen little of the ball, yet spurned a great late chance to settle the game when his attempt was blocked.
The forward offered two shots in all as he took a mere seven touches, yet he saw a Clarets player stand in the way of each effort, per SofaScore, to leave Moyes likely wishing he had a more clinical option to call on in close games.
Yarmolenko has seen three times as many of his shots blocked this season than he has directed on target, having only forced an opposition goalkeeper to make a save from just one of six efforts struck over his now 10 Premier League appearances, with two strikes also failing to find the target, per WhoScored.
No West Ham player has seen more of their efforts blocked than Yarmolenko, whose attempts to date scale up to 1.1 blocked shots per 90 minutes, while even Sebastien Haller was more accurate with 1.1 on target to 0.3 blocked.
Yarmolenko’s first telling contribution to his late cameo against Burnley on Saturday actually counted against West Ham, too, after committing a foul just four minutes after entering the action.
He would again give the Clarets a free-kick in the first minute of stoppage-time, before he saved his blushes entirely when Manuel Lanzini met Yarmolenko’s pass only for the Argentine to shoot straight over Nick Pope’s bar.
Yarmolenko’s pair of fouls proved his only defensive contributions, having prevented Burnley from building any momentum in their hopes of a comeback, with the £115,000-per-week dud not offering a single tackle or interception and losing four of his five ground duels, per SofaScore.
Moyes will have at least wanted to see Yarmolenko offer one tackle, having seen the 31-year-old average 1.4 attempts per league game this term, even if he is dribbled past in 0.6 of those instances.
Instead, Moyes needs to unearth an alternative option for when West Ham are the side looking to see out close fixtures as he cannot trust Yarmolenko to make the difference.
AND in other news, a £4.5m-rated brute was West Ham’s true star of the show vs Burnley.