Andriy Yarmolenko was a huge star for Dynamo Kyiv.
The best player, the poster boy, the national hero.
Each transfer window came rumours of moves to various clubs, with Premier League sides often getting a mention.
Everton were repeatedly linked but it was felt by some in Ukraine the Toffees weren’t of a high enough level. Tottenham links were taken with more pleasure but there didn’t really appear to be a great deal in it.
Then Yarmolenko moved to Borussia Dortmund, and it all went wrong. The attacker just couldn’t get his game together there and won’t feel he was given enough chance to do so.
When West Ham came along, BVB were happy to part with the player.
It was another fresh start, perhaps English football would suit him better. Now four matches into the season, Yarmolenko hasn’t started a Premier League match. Added to West Ham’s disastrous start to the season, it’s being taken seriously in Ukraine.
The country’s Express have spoken to several ‘football experts’ to get their view, and one stands out as particularly harsh.
Hennadiy Orbu, a former Ukraine international, is quoted as saying: “Everything points to the fact that he will soon return to Dynamo Kyiv, and we will note the fiasco of his foreign career.
“But the fact is that in Andriy won’t get a place in the starting team, because Viktor Tsyhankov has done well in his position. It is unlikely that Yarmolenko will be able to make a bright career in the UK. Unfortunately, he does not even reach the level of West Ham, which is temporarily in the last place of the tournament table. The Londoners are sorry that they paid Dortmund as much as €20m.”
Myron Markevych, former Ukraine manager, sounds more hopeful: “I believe that Andriy will make a bright career in England. At West Ham today, players are not much stronger than him. The coach should give Yarmolenko the chance to show himself during all 90 minutes, not fifteen. In such a short time, Andriy just does not have time to impress.”