Darren Bent has heaped praise on West Ham United forward Andriy Yarmolenko for his role in the 2-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.
The Sky Sports pundit has been impressed with the way that the Ukrainian international has returned from injury after rupturing his Achilles tendon last season.
Yarmolenko has been involved on five separate occasions this season, scoring two goals in the victories over both Manchester United and Norwich City.
Speaking to Football Insider, Bent admitted that he remembered watching the 29-year-old years before his move to East London, where he has continued to excel.
“I saw that Yarmolenko a few years back and I remember thinking: ‘Who is this guy? What a player he is,'” he said.
“He had a few injuries and disappeared a little bit. He’s had his fair share of injuries at West Ham. Since he’s been fit, he’s been good, his finish at the weekend was brilliant”
Yarmolenko returning to full fitness has acted like a new signing this season for the Hammers. Alongside the likes of Pablo Fornals and Sebastien Haller coming into the club, the Ukrainian has excelled on the right-hand side of a front four. Yarmolenko has scored twice and continued to make an impact in an attacking sense by keeping the likes of Fornals on the bench. Bent spoke about the 29-year-old and his time before joining the Hammers, where he consistently played European football with the likes of Dynamo Kyiv, scoring in three consecutive Champions League campaigns with the Ukrainians. That experience will help the Hammers and their push for their own European quest, and Pellegrini will expect the former Dortmund man to encourage his teammates throughout the season. Pellegrini has had the benefit of keeping his side the same for the majority of the Premier League season, and Wednesday’s 4-0 defeat against Oxford means he most likely won’t be tempted to switch from the side that swept aside Manchester United – including Yarmolenko.