Everton

Flying winger Yarmolenko could help Everton take off

 • by Stefan Bienkowski
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Everton have a lot of work to do. While their cross-city rivals were breaking into the top four and pushing for Europe’s top honours last season, the Toffees were lingering in mid table after spending a fortune in the transfer market. Ronald Koeman was in charge, then Sam Allardyce took over and now we have Marco Silva.

Indeed, the former Hull City and Watford manager will have a tall task on his hands when he takes a look at Everton’s squad and what the board and fan base will undoubtedly demand of him.

Although very few at Goodison Park would expect their club to be knocking down the door to the top four, it isn’t entirely unrealistic to expect a club of this stature to be doing better than Burnley and trying to emulate the example set by Tottenham and, whisper it quietly, Liverpool. The Premier League is built around money but good coaching and smart transfers can make up a lot of ground if a club does their homework.

For fans hoping to see such pragmatism, this week’s reports from Germany, suggesting Borussia Dortmund forward Andriy Yarmolenko in an Everton transfer target, would have been most welcome.

Not only is the Ukrainian international a player that has been routinely linked to Everton, he is also someone who could immediately improve the club’s fortunes on the pitch.

With ten Bundesliga goals for BVB last season, Yarmolenko bettered the tallies of Toffees’ current wide options. Nikola Vlasić picked up five, Gylfi Sigurðsson got six and Theo Walcott bagged nine but from the right wing. Yarmolenko outscored them all and, with 0.25 per 90. 

What makes the Ukrainian so special is that he can not only score with relative consistency but also creates goals for those around him.

Last season Yarmolenko averaged 0.17 assists per 90 for Dortmund, which is an impressive return for any forward and only just behind Walcott who posted 0.23 per 90 – a figure enhanced by the fact he only traded Arsenal for Everton in January.

Andriy Yarmolenko compared to Everton's current wide options

It’s also considerably more than club-record signing Sigurðsson on the left, who cost the club a considerable sum, could only average 0.11 per 90 in an injury-blighted first campaign at Goodison Park following £45million switch from Swansea City.

Comparing players from one league and another is always a little tricky but it’s clear to see that in Yarmolenko Everton would be signing a forward that could score like Walcott and provide more assists than Sigurðsson.

The wide areas were a problem identified by almost ever pundit last season when assessing the Toffees’ woes. With Vlasić new to the Premier League, Yannick Bolasie returning from a lengthy lay-off and Sigurðsson not a winger, Allardyce knew pace was needed in January and spent £20million on Walcott.

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But reports have emerged since Silva was appointed as the former England coach’s successor that Bolasie – who made just 11 top-flight starts last term – will be allowed to move on this summer, once again creating a need for a senior wide option.

However, there is a downside to the Ukrainian’s obvious talents. And that’s the simple fact that Dortmund will have absolutely no intention of selling the 28-year old any time soon.

Although the German giants have Marco Reus, Christian Pulisic, André Schürrle and Max Philipp to occupy the flanks, Yarmolenko proved to be an invaluable member of last season’s squad and it would take a sizeable sum to pry the club of the winger they only signed in the summer of 2017 for €25million.

Perhaps the player may look at such competition for just two spots and wonder whether another club would be better fitted to his talents. And if so, then Everton could well be the perfect destination for him.

Ambitious clubs need players that can take them to the next level and in Yarmolenko the Toffees would have a true match-winner that could help Silva and his squad start clawing their way up the Premier League table.

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