Peter Crouch is surely wrong to push West Ham attacker Andrii Yarmolenko into the spotlight by claiming that the 29-year-old, Manuel Lanzini and Sebastien Haller could cover for the loss of Marko Arnautovic.
The former Premier League attacker shared that the Hammers were right to get rid of their 2018/19 top-scorer, Arnautovic, as while he was a great forward, he didn’t hide his desire to play elsewhere.
However, Crouch then quickly implied Hammers fans have no reason to worry about Arnautovic’s exit as the club had signed the exciting Haller and Lanzini and Yarmolenko should be back in business after an injury-hit 2018/19 campaign.
“The biggest decision they made this summer was the correct one — Marko Arnautovic had to be sold. Marko is a great forward but he made no secret of his desire to play in China. Sometimes you have to let players go for the good of the collective,” wrote the Crouch for the Daily Mail.
“They need not worry, either. Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko should be back in business this season and the £45m signing of Sebastien Haller is exciting. There will be times when West Ham are thrilling and there will be times when they are inconsistent.”
While Crouch may be right to put Lanzini in the spotlight, he should have left Yarmolenko to fly under the radar as patience is clearly needed with him.
The 6ft 3in tall player (Source: Transfermarkt) only managed nine league appearances in his 2018/19 campaign, before injuring his knee in the 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in October.
Yarmolenko only showed glimpses of his talent as only 33% of the nine shots he attempted in the league hit the target, something that could be improved upon, and he only averaged 22.56 passes per game which is quite low. (Source: Premier League)
Yarmolenko didn’t return to first-team action before the end of the campaign, with his injury keeping him on the sidelines for 252 days. (Source: Transfermarkt)
Due to not returning before the end of the season, the winger is kind of the forgotten man at the London Stadium, which is completely different from Lanzini.
The Argentian recovered from an injury to feature 10 times for the Hammers before the season, scoring twice while assisting one, and already had a glowing reputation at the Hammers that made it hard to forget him, due to him being at the club since 2016.
So Lanzini will be in the spotlight regardless of Crouch’s remarks and has a better chance of being back in business this season after featuring before the 2018/19 campaign ended and due to having a good pre-season.
The 26-year-old has looked sharp in pre-season, see his goal against Fulham for more information, and this is the polar opposite to Yarmolenko.
Football. London pointed out how Yarmolenko looked rusty in the club’s first pre-season friendly of the season against Altach and he continued to look like a work in progress in the games that followed.
After a long time out, the 29-year-old will clearly need patience in order to get back to his best, and after only featuring a handful of times last season, he probably still needs time in order to come to grips with the Premier League.
So the last thing he needs is to be pushed into the spotlight by having Crouch publicly namedrop him.