Tag Archives: Andriy Yarmolenko

Andriy Yarmolenko – The Right Winger For Chelsea?

Chelsea have been in search of a winger who can run tirelessly on the flanks, propelling the attack and running back to collect the ball. Eden Hazard has been a surety on the left wing, but the right wing has lacked the intensity to hold down an attack and defence over games. Willian has a high work-rate, but he moves with the ball, and he cannot take his place in the initiation of an attack on the right-wing if he delves deep to collect the ball. Andre Schurrle was too slow to drop back and surge forward with the ball, Victor Moses is not the finished product yet and Mohammed Salah lacked the stamina to play games continuously to Jose’s lofty standards. Juan Cuadrado was an investment in January which has not quite paid off, meaning that Chelsea are still in the market for a winger who can step in and complete an already strong Chelsea team.

Andriy Yarmolenko, from Dynamo Kiev, threw himself into the Premier League spotlight, with a performance that destroyed Everton in their Europa League round-of-16 match. Liverpool and Chelsea have been linked with the winger, but Chelsea hold an advantage as they will qualify for the Champions League next season, whereas Liverpool’s Champions League participation remains in doubt. Considering that Chelsea’s workload is not getting any lighter, players such as Yarmolenko could get extended runs in the Chelsea team next season, even though Mourinho has shown a tendency to use the same playing XI over the course of a season to keep the winning mentality. Yarmolenko has a return of a goal every three games in the Ukrainian leagues, throughout the course of his career so far. If he can keep up that record at Chelsea, he will be able to hold down a slot in Jose’s teams, if he can move forward with the ball and track back to win the ball, as and when required. He may not be strong in the air, but he makes up for it with his speedy take-ons in which he emerges successful more often than not.

True, he may be left-footed and may be better off as a left and centre-forward, but he has played mostly on the right flank for Dynamo Kiev this season. Andriy Yarmolenko may end up playing as an inverted winger, on the right, toying with opposition defenders. He has a high passing rate – above 75%, and a penchant for making key passes – he has eleven in nine Europa League games, and seven assists, meaning that he could be of great assistance to players such as Eden Hazard, Loic Remy and Diego Costa. If Didier Drogba chooses to retire next season, a player like Yarmolenko is a more than valuable replacement, to play among Chelsea’s talented forwards.

Would a fee of £19m be too much for a player of his potential? Chelsea have paid for players, who have not been given long enough runs in the team, and who have been sold for profits on most occasions. Yarmolenko remains untested in the Premier League and may take some time to adjust, which may be too much for Chelsea. Chelsea did pursue a Ukrainian player before – Andriy Shevchenko – in an ill-fated buy. There is reason to look forward to this purchase, as he will not be subject to high expectations, as he will not be an important part of the first-team – with established players such as Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Willian and Diego Costa holding down first-team places, which means that he may get the time to build himself up and adapt to the Premier League.