Andriy Yarmolenko could make an immediate return to the Premier League with Fulham emerging as the frontrunners to sign the former West Ham United winger, according to Ukrainian reporter Viktor Vatsko.
Now, if Fulham’s impending swoop for Joao Palhinha felt like an inspired piece of business – signing a top-quality defensive midfielder at the peak of his powers – then Yarmolenko’s potential arrival at Craven Cottage feels rather more, well, let’s say unconvincing.
There has never been any doubt about Yarmolenko’s talent. But the veteran winger, at 32 years of age, has endured his fair share of injury issues in recent seasons. And when he did get on the pitch, the former Borussia Dortmund ace hardly justified his mammoth wages at the London Stadium.
Yarmolenko made 19 Premier League appearances under David Moyes in 2021/22. But he was included in West Ham’s starting XI on just one occasion.
And, while he’ll always have that iconic extra-time winner against Sevilla, you won’t find many Hammers fans who disagreed with the decision to bid farewell with Yarmolenko’s £115,000-a-week contract coming to an end in July.
Is Andriy Yarmolenko set to swap West Ham for Fulham?
According to Vatsko, clubs in Saudi Arabia and the MLS are interested. Many have predicted that Yarmolenko would wind down his career in a so-called ‘retirement league’. But, in a twist that even M Night Shyamalan may consider a little over-the-top, Yarmolenko could now stay, not just England, but in London too.
Vatsko claims that newly-promoted Fulham have suddenly emerged as the most likely destination for a player who set West Ham back £17 million in the summer of 2018.
Given that Marco Silva already has a left-footed right winger in the shape of Harry Wilson, it feels unlikely that Yarmolenko would be anything more than an experienced back-up at Craven Cottage. The veteran wideman has a decision to make, then.
Does he accept a back-seat position at Fulham? Or a starring role in a lesser league?
Fulham’s interest in Yarmolenko is unlikely to affect their pursuit of Shakhtar Donetsk’s Manor Solomon or Bologna’s Musa Barrow. Both Solomon and Barrow play on the left, rather than the right.