As the season grows older, West Ham will run into numerous injury issues.
Manuel Pellegrini will not have been expecting any major setbacks in the first month of the season and will have been hoping to get to the first international break unscathed.
That hasn’t been the case though, Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup victory over Newport County brought along the Hammers’ first casualty to fall to a long-term injury.
Michail Antonio suffered a suspected Hamstring tear in that win at Rodney Parade, and club medics have been reported by Football Insider to be expecting the worst, with the 29-year-old set to be out until at least Christmas time.
That isn’t bad news for everyone though, with Pellegrini having numerous options available to him to come in and replace Antonio in the squad.
Players such as Pablo Fornals and Robert Snodgrass will be in the background, patiently crossing their fingers for a chance to deputise during Antonio’s layoff.
Instead, Football Insider have reported that it is Andriy Yarmolenko who is set for an extended spell on the right-hand-side at West Ham, with Pellegrini a bid admirer of the Ukrainian international forward.
Yarmolenko will surely be counting his lucky stars to be receiving a boost to his first-team chances, especially given the lack of impact he has had in the past 12 months or so at the London Stadium.
The 29-year-old was absent himself for 252 days after rupturing his Achilles tendon, and that led to him missing 32 games for Pellegrini’s men, according to Transfermarkt.
The winger has featured twice this season on his return and has yet to set the world alight with his performances, averaging only 0.5 shots on goal per game, as well as having a poor 75.9% passing accuracy [Source: WhoScored].
Should Antonio have not picked up his injury, he will surely have kept his place in the near future at West Ham, and Yarmolenko will be counting his lucky stars for the opportunity to come in for an extended run.