There is no doubt that Everton are underachieving. For a side that includes players like Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and John Stones, they should be challenging for a place in the top six, not languishing in mid table. Signing Andriy Yarmolenko from Dynamo Kiev would give them a player with Champions League experience who is capable of leading them up the table.
Having sold Steven Naismith to Norwich City for a fee believed to be around £8.5 million, Everton have freed up funds to sign at least one more player in January. Given that they have sold an attacking player, it is likely Roberto Martinez will make a move to replace him. Given that Everton’s attacking talent consists of mainly younger players, Kevin Mirallas and Arouna Kone aside, they could do with signing a player with experience of European football. The Toffees also play an attacking style that involves lots of pace and movement between the front four.
Yarmolenko is certainly a man who fits the criteria. In his time in Ukraine with Dynamo Kiev, he has grown a reputation as a player with lots of strength and pace, and a very good left foot. Everton fans will be familiar with the 26-year-old’s ability, after he scored a brilliant goal against them in the Europa League last season, running at the defence before powering a shot past Tim Howard from 25 yards.
For a winger, he has a very impressive goal scoring record. Since his Kiev debut in 2007, he has scored 108 goals in 282 games in all competitions, while providing numerous assists along the way. Having also scored 17 goals in European competitions, he has also showed that he is capable of mixing it with some of Europe’s top clubs, and would have a good chance of succeeding in the Premier League.
Given that Yarmolenko only signed a contract extension with Kiev last summer, it may be tough for Everton to prise him away from the Ukrainian side, but he may be tempted by a move to the Premier League. Roberto Martinez is a long-term admirer of the winger and may feel now is the best time to bring him England. It is the general belief that Yarmolenko has outgrown the Ukrainian leagues and needs to move to one of Europe’s bigger leagues if he is to become a top player.
If he was to move to Goodison Park, Yarmolenko would certainly play a role in ensuring that Everton challenge for a top seven finish, and for the transfer budget Everton have at their disposal, they would struggle to find a player as good as the Ukrainian.