Player Profiles: Yarmolenko

The Russian-born Ukrainian international hasn’t exactly torn up trees since joining Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2017. Featuring in only 18 games since he joined. Could there be a change of scenery on the cards for the Ukrainian skillster?

At 28 years old, Andriy Yarmolenko has spent the majority of his career plying his trade in Ukraine. He was picked up by Dynamo Kyiv Youth Academy at the age of 13 due to his rapidly broadening talent but failed to endure the harsh training sessions set by the Kyiv coaches. He quit and left.

He stayed in town, playing for a number of local semi-professional teams before Dynamo Kyiv came beckoning again and this time, the opportunity was too great to miss. Andriy, still only 17, signed a five-year contract with Ukraine’s top side, slotting straight into Kyiv’s second team. Quickly people were beginning to see why Yarmolenko was regarded so highly. Within weeks of his debut for Dynamo-2 Kyiv, he was likened to the legendary Andriy Shevchenko due to his similar pace and power. The end of the 2007/08 season saw Yarmolenko make his debut for Kyiv’s first team, and what a debut it was…

In an away match at lowly Vorskla Poltava and with his side becoming increasingly frustrated after holding a 1-1 draw for the majority of the game, manager Yuri Semin turned to the 18-year-old. Yarmolenko proceeded to score the winner, also capturing the hearts and minds of Dynamo Kyiv supporters. He played 228 more games for Kyiv, scoring 98 more goals, leaving him one shy of a ton for the Ukrainian outfit.

However, it’s not been all downhill for the 6ft 3in Ukrainian striker, who is occasionally used out wide at Borussia Dortmund. His hot head has landed him in deep trouble before, especially in 2015 when temper’s flared between him and Shakhtar Donetsk player Taras Stepanenko, which lead to a brawl and Stepanenko on the ground.

Nevertheless, Yarmolenko’s talent has proceeded him and with rumours of Premier League side West Ham United being heavily linked to the Dortmund man, could it finally be time that we see the boy from Leningrad make it on the English scene?

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