The Ukraine international scored the opening goal as Manuel Pellegrini’s side eased to a 2-0 victory at the London Stadium over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s woeful visitors. BBC pundit Whelan was very impressed by the 29-year-old.
“Yarmolenko’s like a new signing,” he told Football Insider. “It’s great for Pellegrini to have him back after he missed most of last season. I’m really impressed with him, he’s involved in everything.
“He was at the heart of their win against Man United. He plays with passion and desire, he’s good going forward, intelligent and makes great runs in behind. Pellegrini must be so pleased to have him back. I know Lanzini is an exceptional talent, but Yarmolenko may be even better.”
It seems like Whelan is getting ahead of himself just a little bit. Yarmolenko is a terrific talent and he played extremely well against the Red Devils on Sunday. He scored the opening goal with a very well-taken strike, and is generally one of the better players in this West Ham team at the moment. However, to say that he is a superior talent to Lanzini might be stretching it a bit. Yes, the Ukrainian scores more goals, but Lanzini is undoubtedly more important to Pellegrini’s team. He is the one who makes things happen when nobody else is doing much, solidifying him as one of the premier chance-creators in the top flight. Yarmolenko is obviously the hot potato at the moment, and because he is a more direct player than Lanzini he will score more goals, but the Argentine is the main man at the London Stadium for a reason. Still, credit to Yarmolenko for the way he has bounced back from a horrible injury last campaign. He should be really proud of how he has rebounded, because he looks better than ever at the moment.