West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini could opt to use winger Andriy Yarmolenko as an attacker, according to Football London.
The outlet claims that the Ukraine international, who scored the second goal in the Hammers’ 2-0 win over Norwich City last time out, could become the surprise solution to the team’s striker shortage.
After Javier Hernandez left the Magpies to join Sevilla on Monday, Pellegrini now has only two senior frontmen available to him at the London Stadium.
However, the 29-year-old is still working his way back to full fitness and so the switch shouldn’t be expected any time soon.
This was a role that was previously thought to have been reserved for West Ham winger Michail Antonio, who has operated as a lone attacker in the past. However, he picked up a serious injury against Newport County in the Carabao Cup last week and is now sidelined for the foreseeable future. With young attacker Xande Silva also out injured, that leaves only summer recruits Sebastien Haller and Albian Ajeti as attacking options for Pellegrini. Enter Yarmolenko. The Ukrainian has the technique and the eye for goal necessary to be a success at the position; we saw that with his terrific finish for his strike against the Canaries on Saturday. However, his lack of blistering pace may make him an odd fit in the role. However, if Haller were to suffer an injury and with Ajeti looking rather off the pace against Newport, this could end up being Pellegrini’s best option.