After a slow integration into the team, Andriy Yarmolenko burst into life in West Ham’s 3-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park last Sunday with his two goals inspiring the Hammers to their first Premier League victory of the season.
The Ukrainian opened the scoring in the 11th minute before curling away his second of the game on 31 minutes to give West Ham a 2-0 lead in a first-half display supporters of the east London club would have been delighted with.
Having started the season so poorly, it was both a result and performance Manuel Pellegrini needed. But, as well as West Ham’s new Chilean manager, it was also a game where Yarmolenko needed to deliver.
Yarmolenko has been far from impressive in his previous cameo appearances for the club so far and, given the amount of pressure Pellegrini has already found himself in, the 28-year-old’s first Premier League start of the season could have been his only start for a while if things went south.
Luckily for £18m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Yarmolenko and West Ham, though, the Ukraine international stepped up to the plate at what could not have been a better time.
Despite having only arrived at the London Stadium in the summer, Yarmolenko had already been linked with a move away from east London with West Ham, in private, believed to have regret signing the forward (via the Sun).
However, Yarmolenko’s performance against Everton was a reminder to those at and outside of West Ham of what he is truly capable of.
Yarmolenko’s second goal, in particular, came from his trademark bit of play from the right flank that has resulted in him becoming such a dangerous winger, and Pellegrini has since been quick to highlight the overall quality the former Borussia Dortmund man has brought to the team.
“He has a lot of quality, he has demonstrated that but he needs more work,” Pellegrini told Reuters. “We preferred to work with him a couple of weeks and when I saw he was ready, he needed to demonstrate his quality. I think that today he did that.”
The tough task of facing London rivals Chelsea now awaits West Ham and Yarmolenko, but it is a challenge the latter should relish with it providing another opportunity for him to prove his doubters wrong and show the Hammers faithful that he belongs in the team both now and in the future.