When a player is coming off a long term injury and needs the support of everyone at their football club, you don’t want to hear that your manager is considering your future.
However, that is seemingly the situation that West Ham United winger Andriy Yarmolenko finds himself in at present. Reliable Hammers news source Claret & Hugh reported on Thursday that Manuel Pellegrini will give the Ukrainian international the first half of the season to prove himself before making a decision on his future.
The 29-year-old suffered a devastating achilles tear last October, having just started to make his mark after his summer move from Borussia Dortmund.
With that said, Pellegrini is surely being harsh here.
It’s not as if he was playing that badly at the London Stadium prior to his setback, either. He might not have had the fastest start but West Ham as a whole started the season disastrously and a certain amount of settling in time is to be expected.
As per WhoScored, when compared with attacking midfield teammates Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio and Grady Diangana, he appeared to provide a different sort of option for West Ham.
On the face of it, he doesn’t stack up fantastically in a few statistical categories. However, he beats all three in the number of bad controls per game, while he only trails Lanzini in offsides per game, suggesting that he is an intelligent footballer. Meanwhile, he’s only beaten by Diangana in the amount of times he was dispossessed per game and only Antonio in goals scored – despite his lack of game time.
He also had the second-most average passes per game and the second-highest pass success rate, so it’s clear that he uses the ball very well and therefore fits nicely with the way Pellegrini wants to play football.
So he’s an intelligent player who doesn’t give the ball away much and he has an eye for goal, yet Pellegrini is already mulling what to do with him moving forward – just because he suffered the misfortune of a major injury when he was playing well.
Yarmolenko needs his manager’s support, not to hear that the former Manchester City boss is weighing up his future on the back of an extremely tough time for the Ukrainian.