Kevin Nolan suggested that West Ham could cope without Andriy Yarmolenko if needs be with the 29-year-old unlikely to be able to play every game this season.
Yarmolenko missed 32 games in the 2018/19 season due to an Achilles tendon injury keeping him on the sidelines for 252 days. (Source: Transfermarkt)
However, the 29-year-old has managed to show glimpses of his talent this season with him scoring two goals in his first five league outings.
Nolan commented on the Ukraine winger and shared that while it was a massive plus for him to be fit and featuring again for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, he implied that given the Hammers’ other options that the team will be able to cope when he needs a rest.
“When you think about it, Yarmolenko was out for a long time last season, so obviously he coming back is a massive plus,” said Nolan on Football Centre (10:53am, Wednesday, September 25th, Sky Sports News).
“But he isn’t going to be able to play every game, there’s gonna be times when they swap and change, but when you got someone like Lanzini to come in when you’ve got to rest him, it’s a good time for West Ham.”
Nolan is spot-on to suggest Yarmolenko won’t be able to feature week-in-week out this season for 90 minutes at a time as after such a long spell out it’s going to take time for him to get back to being 100% fit.
The former West Ham player is also right to suggest that Pellegrini can cope with not being able to count on the 6ft 3in tall attacker, as per Transfermarkt, as the Hammers have several wingers to choose from.
While West Ham don’t have the biggest squad, they do have several capable of attacking players who could step in for Yarmolenko waiting in the wings for an opportunity.
Nolan referenced the currently injured Manuel Lanzini, but the Hammers also have the very experienced Robert Snodgrass and promising youngster Nathan Holland who could fill in.
Snodgrass proved himself to be a useful option last season as he racked up five assists and two goals while also racking up three Man of the Match awards on WhoScored across his 33 league outings. (Source: WhoScored)
Whereas Holland has been proving himself for the U-23s this season with West Ham under-23 coach Dmitri Halajko even telling West Ham’s official website that the 21-year-old could be the best left-sided midfielder in the Premier League 2.
So when you consider those two options plus the injured Lanzini and Michail Antonio then West Ham will be able to cope with Yarmolenko missing games this season.