David Moyes’ decision to end plans to sell Andriy Yarmolenko in the summer transfer window backfired on Wednesday night when the Ukraine international offered a dismal display in the EFL Cup.
Reports early in the summer by the Mirror named Yarmolenko as one of the high-earning outcasts expected to leave the London Stadium this year, with Moyes deciding that he, Felipe Anderson and Albian Ajeti would help raise funds for any needed investment in the squad.
Yarmolenko was brought to England during Manuel Pellegrini’s expensive tenure in charge of the Irons, with the Chilean signing off on a £17.5million deal and awarding the former Borussia Dortmund forward a £115,000-per-week, five-year contract that runs until 2023.
In return, West Ham fans have seen the 30-year-old feature in just 38 games for their club and play a role in 14 goals (nine scored, five assisted) across all competitions, with Yarmolenko also suffering two lengthy muscle injuries.
But Moyes had a change of heart during the summer and opted to keep Yarmolenko at the London Stadium, with ExWHUemployee stating on The West Ham Way podcast in August that the Scottish coach had liked what he’d seen from the attacker and was now keen to retain his services.
Moyes’ decision has only backfired, though, as Yarmolenko displayed all the reasons why he was initially deemed surplus to requirements as West Ham crashed out of the Carabao Cup away to Everton on Wednesday night.
The EFL Cup clash at Goodison Park was a night to forget for Yarmolenko as the now £8.55m-rated forward hindered more than he helped by holding West Ham back whenever the visitors sought to push forward.
Yarmolenko began well – much like his West Ham career, having scored twice against the Toffees in what was his fifth Premier League appearance – but a refusal to shift the ball onto his weaker right foot brought an end to many attacks, while football.london went as far as to say the 30-year-old “almost looked disinterested and offered nothing”.
Statistics collated by SofaScore do show Yarmolenko was an attacker responsible for 49 of the Irons’ touches and 27 accurate passes with a 73% success rate that led to two key chances, but also a player who lost five of his seven ground duels, lost possession 17 times and failed to deliver a single accurate cross.
Having failed to start any of West Ham’s Premier League fixtures so far this season and failing to enter the action at all as the Hammers hit four past Wolverhampton Wanderers, Yarmolenko should have been expected to push on against Everton rather than fall into the shadows. It was in the Carabao Cup he shone with two goals and two assists only a week before against Hull City, but he has now left Moyes with much to answer for.
AND in other news, West Ham have submitted an offer to sign David Moyes’ top striker target.