When West Ham fans saw they were getting hold of an international attacker with over 75 caps last summer, they would have been seriously excited about what the future had in store for their side.
To say Andriy Yarmolenko’s career in east London has been underwhelming is quite the understatement, injury cutting his season drastically short after just 10 games for the Hammers.
With that serious injury now behind him, the 29-year-old, as well as manager Manuel Pellegrini, will have his sights set on making a swift comeback in the first team.
Now having spent the majority of last season on the sidelines, there will be plenty who are willing to give the Ukranian ace time to come back and find his way to full fitness – but really there should be no excuses made for the former Dynamo Kiev star.
Football.London claim that Yarmolenko could have actually returned towards the end of last season but that Pellegrini left the forward out of the side to focus on his recovery and to ensure he came into this pre-season 100 per cent fit.
However, that decision, which many will view as a sensible one from the Chilean boss, does mean there is no reason why the 29-year-old should not be pushing for a place among the first team side both over the summer and into the start of next season.
There is an awful lot of competition out wide, with the likes of Felipe Anderson, Robert Snodgrass, Michail Antonio, Manuel Lanzini and Pablo Fornals all senior talents able to operate in the same positions Yarmolenko can, not to mention youth prospects like Grady Diangana and Nathan Holland waiting in the wings.
His performances last season were nothing to write home about but then again he was playing in a side struggling to adapt to Pellegrini’s methods – something which changed while he was sidelined.
This summer things are different and the winger knows he faces a fight to make a mark on the side – he needs to come back all guns blazing or the manager will be wondering what he has to offer.