West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has been discussing his handling of summer signing Andriy Yarlmolenko.
The Ukraine international attacker arrived at the London Stadium in July from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, but was only handed his first start in the Premier League last weekend against Everton, with the 28-year-old scoring a superbly taken brace that inspired the Hammers to an unexpected and much needed 3-1 win at Goodison Park.
Yarlmolenko’s excellent showing on Merseyside led to many of the Hammers Faithful questioning why he had not featured more regularly so far this season, but Chilean coach Pellegrini has revealed that it has always been his plan to gradually introduce the talented attacker into his starting XI so he has plenty of time to acclimatise to life in English football.
“I said at the start that Andriy needs a few weeks to get used to playing in the Premier League,” Pellegrini said in his pre-match press conference.
“He has a lot of quality, we know that, but in this league, you can’t just play with quality. You need pace and be prepared tactically to be an important part of the game.
“He demonstrated against Everton that it was the correct moment. He did it very well. After this performance, we must demand him to give more, because he’s able to be a top player for us.”
West Ham will welcome Chelsea to the London Stadium this weekend in what usually turns out to be a feisty London Derby.