Andriy Yarmolenko is the latest proof West Ham are doing things the right way
The 2018-19 Premier League campaign is roughly one month away, but there are teams that are already grabbing headlines for their transfer activity. Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal have all made some interesting signings, and the same could be said for a Fulham team that looks determined to remain in England’s top-flight for more than just one year.
However, one team that has not gotten enough press – or not enough as they should have based on their recent moves – are West Ham United. The Hammers appointed Manuel Pellegrini; who won the title with Manchester City years ago and has a history of taking smaller teams and make them play above their expectations. The man from Chile reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals with both Villarreal and Malaga, there is no question that West Ham will be hugely enthusiastic about their future.
Their transfer activity shows they are pointing towards contending for a European spot as early as next season. They already had an interesting core with names such as Manuel Lanzini, Marko Arnautovic and Andy Carroll, but they have added some stellar quality over the last month. Lukasz Fabianski should add depth between the posts, Jack Wilshere is expected to be the team’s main playmaker from central midfield, and Issa Diop was considered to be amongst the top centre-back prospects in the French Ligue 1. However, their biggest signing comes from Borussia Dortmund; Andriy Yarmolenko.
The Ukranian winger only spent one year playing for the Bundesliga giants and while injuries derailed his campaign, there is no question that he was hugely productive when healthy. His ability to play all over the attacking third is something that West Ham will definitively enjoy, and he can form a deadly trio alongside Lanzini and Arnautovic in the attacking third.
Let’s not forget that Yarmolenko will also add an enormous deal of international experience to the team. He's arguably the most important player in the Ukranian national team, but also has bags of Champions League games under his belt. That elite-level experience will serve him, and West Ham well.
Sure, if we go name by name, West Ham still have work left to do to become a serious European contender, but right now, their squad looks good enough to challenge for a top-half finish. Most importantly, they are doing things the right way. They hired a manager who has overseen projects like this one in the past, and are signing the players that suit his style the most. Pellegrini usually employs a 4-4-2 tactic, but he could swap it into a 4-2-3-1 based on the kind of talent he has at his disposal.
Maybe West Ham are not going to contend for a UEFA Europa League berth, and we might have to wait until year two of this process to see proper results. But the signs, at least on paper, are encouraging. And adding players such as Yarmolenko could only increase the chances of being successful in both the short-term and long-term scenario.
Without a doubt, The Hammers are on the up.