Manuel Pellegrini feels both Andriy Yarmolenko and Carlos Sanchez will be important members of his squad for this season. The duo were signed in the summer of 2018 but neither played much of a part last term after suffering serious injuries.
Ukraine international Yarmolenko suffered an Achilles tear on October 20 last year which ruled him out for six months while Sanchez was forced to go under the knife after injuring his knee in an EFL Cup game against Macclesfield Town in September.
The duo returning this season will be like new signings for the club but Yarmolenko has played just 13 minutes of the Hammers first two games and Sanchez has enjoyed only seven minutes of action. It has not been the best of starts for West Ham, with a 5-0 home thrashing by Manchester City followed by a 1-1 draw at Brighton.
After last season’s mediocre campaign, it was hoped that the East End outfit would hit the ground running in 2019-2020 but it was always going to be tough to get anything against Pep Guardiola’s side. However, the nature of the Brighton stalemate and some of the manager’s tactics have seen a backlash on social media from fans.
Yarmolenko was not in the squad for the City match while he was on the bench at the Amex Stadium, with Pellegrini bringing on Sanchez at a crucial point in that match much the ire of the travelling fans. However, the Chilean tactician has defended his actions while maintaining that the pair will have a big say in proceedings over the next nine months.
“They are two important players,” he told the club’s official website. “Carlos is the only replacement we have for Declan Rice and he is working very hard to recover the performance that he had before his injury. “Andriy was nine or 10 months without playing one game, so maybe we need some time to fix all the players in their current positions.”
While Yarmolenko is seen as a player who could make an impact with West Ham given run in the side, the jury is still out on Sanchez as he hardly set the world alight at Aston Villa. Next up is a trip to Watford and it remains to be seen if the pair play a significant role at Vicarage Road.11 BUSINESS NUGGETS FROM SUPER EAGLES BRONZE MEDAL TRIUMPH. The content of this ebook will propel you above your competition. Buy NOW!!!