The pundit shared that he liked the 29-year-old winger as he thought he was a good player, but then added that he was surprised by how tidy Yarmolenko’s footwork was when on the ball given his height.
“He’s a good player, I like Yarmolenko,” stated Townsend while commentating on West Ham’s 1-0 loss to Newcastle (Sky Sports Premier League, 10:10am, Saturday, July 20th).
“Again he can finish, for such a big man, he surprisingly has good tidy feet, he gets Zabaleta going around him and goes beyond him when it matters, running to give him the option.
“He gives him the option to drop inside on his favoured left foot.”
Should Townsend really be surprised that a winger has tidy feet? While Yarmolenko is on the tall side for a standard winger, normally they’re short and speedy, his height doesn’t really affect his ability to control a football. However, that said, Hammers supporters didn’t see enough of Yarmolenko’s fancy footwork against Newcastle and definitely didn’t get to see him in action enough last season. On Saturday, Yarmolenko still looked a little off-the-pace and the fact it’s hard to remember any memorable moment regarding him in the match says it all. Yet the 29-year-old should be given some slack given how he spent the majority of his 2018/19 campaign on the sidelines due to injury, as he will no doubt take some time to shake off the rust. Yarmolenko only managed to feature 10 times in his latest campaign and spent 252 days on the sidelines with a knee injury (Source: Transfermarkt). Although on a positive note, when the winger did feature, he did impress. The 29-year-old scored twice in his outings, which meant he averaged a goal every 230 minutes (Source: BBC).