Mario Husillos hit gold far fewer times than he unearthed gems during his time as West Ham United’s Director of Football, and there are few signings he made that were as bad the deal to bring in Andriy Yarmolenko.
One-tenth of that amount went on Yarmolenko as the Ukraine winger was signed from Borussia Dortmund for £17.5m, already £3.5m less than his TransferMarkt valuation of £21m at the time of leaving the Signal Iduna Park.
Unfortunately for West Ham, his market value has continued to plummet in every season that has gone by, and TransferMarkt project that he is now worth just £4.5m, a £16.5m decline over the past 32-months.
No player currently at the London Stadium has seen their TransferMarkt valuation fall as drastically as Yarmolenko has since first adorning the claret and blue jersey, with Pablo Fornals’ £6.5m decrease the second-highest hit.
Husillos was delighted to have been able to unveil Yarmolenko as a Hammer during his and Manuel Pellegrini’s first summer in charge at West Ham, and claimed the club “did not hesitate” when the chance arose to sign him.
“He really is the kind of player that we were looking for,” said Husillos, via quotes by Sky Sports. “He is a left-footed player but can play on the right and is very quick, very good one-on-one against a defender. He gives the team a lot of attacking options and scores goals, is fast on the counter-attack and provides aerial threat with his height.
“He also has very good experience, of playing for big teams and fighting for titles. At Dortmund, he had some good matches but perhaps didn’t quite show his very best. However, I think Manuel Pellegrini is the perfect coach for Andriy and his style of play.
“I believe he is joining us in the perfect moment. He is 28, the prime age for football, and we have great expectation about what he can achieve with West Ham United.”
But the move has not worked out as Husillos expected, and the drastic decline of Yarmolenko’s market value is just one sign of how poorly things worked out.
In two-and-a-half-seasons at the London Stadium, the 31-year-old forward has amassed just 53 appearances across all competitions, in which he has scored 10 times and provided six assists.
Yet of those strikes, only one has come this term when the attacker netted at home to League One side Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup, before sustaining the latest in a long line of injuries away to Manchester United in the fifth round.
Surgery for an Achilles tendon injury brought a halt to Yarmolenko’s maiden campaign in England after just nine top-flight games, and his return the following season would only last 16 matches before he was back in the treatment room for an abductor tear.
The pandemic meant Yarmolenko, who is also West Ham’s top-earner on a £115,000-per-week contract, could help David Moyes keep the Irons in the Premier League, but the Scottish coach’s decision to retain his services last summer has backfired.
In 14 league games this term, Yarmolenko has a sole assist to his name and will have little expectations placed on him of offering a greater return once the 92-cap international has overcome his knee ligament injury.
It is no wonder that reports have already begun surfacing claiming West Ham will look to sell Yarmolenko at the end of the season, it just remains to be seen how much they can recoup after Husillos’ horrific mistake.
Buying older players with little resale value has hurt West Ham in the past, such as in this instance, lessons must be learned from it.
AND in other news, West Ham are set to sign a £13.5m-rated titan for free this summer…