The name Andriy Yarmolenko is one that gossip column readers will have become fairly familiar with over the past few years. The Dynamo Kiev winger has been linked with a whole host of Premier League sides in that time, and earlier this year, news outlets were awash with rumours of an impending summer switch to Everton.
However, things appeared to have stalled since. Since the takeover from new owner Farhad Moshiri, and the subsequent appointment of Ronald Koeman as the club’s manager, very little has been heard about whether Yarmolenko’s supposed move to Goodison Park is still on.
Under Roberto Martinez, Everton were long-time admirers of Yarmolenko, and reportedly agreed a fee with Dynamo last year, but struggled to agree personal terms with the player and his representatives.
Yarmolenko appears to have changed his mind, though, as in February of this year, Sky Sports reported that the Ukrainian international had claimed he would rather play for Everton than sit on the bench at Barcelona. With such enthusiasm on the player’s behalf, and the patent admiration that Martinez had for the player, perhaps the silence is simply due to the fact that Koeman has other transfer targets on his radar.
The 26-year-old appeared in all three of Ukraine’s games at this summer’s European Championship, as they crashed and burned disastrously in the group stage, failing to score a goal in the process. His performances may have had many at home wondering what all the hype was about, but Yarmolenko was merely a shadow of his usual self whilst in France.
Yarmolenko’s favoured position is on the right wing, where he is lethal when cutting inside and unleashing a shot with his deadly left foot. Gerard Deulofeu proved to be a revelation in that position last season, and the Dynamo talisman would have his work cut out to displace the Spaniard from the Everton side. Therefore, if Koeman was to sign Yarmolenko, he may see him as the solution to the long-term problem of who should play on the left wing.
Aaron Lennon, Kevin Mirallas and Arouna Kone all tried their luck down that side last season, and despite all of them performing fairly well at one point or another during the season, none of them really consolidated their spot in the side.
A powerful, yet tricky winger, the Ukrainian is a constant threat for opposition goalkeepers thanks to the blistering shot that he possesses. Yarmolenko is an electric dribbler at speed, a quality that suits the way Everton have played over the last few seasons. With a new manager in charge, it is entirely possible that this style will now change, but Koeman also appears to be fond of a fast attacking style, if his spell at Southampton is anything to go by.
One thing that can be guaranteed from Yarmolenko is goals. Whilst this is probably the only aspect of play that Everton did not struggle with in 2015/16, the Ukrainian is direct, and prolific both in and around the penalty area, and certainly would be a welcome addition to their attack. He has been a regular goal-scorer during his time at Dynamo, finding the net 98 times in 267 appearances, as well as 25 in 59 appearances for his country.
At 26, it appears Yarmolenko is finally ready for a move away from his homeland. He appears to have long out-grown the Ukrainian Premier League, and must surely be tempted to join his fellow countryman, Yevhen Konoplyanka in
making the leap to one of the big European leagues.
The fee that would tempt his employers to sell has been mooted at around £25 million, but his performances this summer may make it more likely for Everton, or any other potential suitors, to negotiate a better price. Stoke City
and Liverpool have also been suggested as possible destinations for the player who has been dropping hints about a move to England for months, and any potential move to the Premier League would certainly be an exciting prospect.
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