Andriy Yarmolenko

Andriy Yarmolenko given compassionate leave by West Ham United manager David Moyes

David Moyes has granted Andriy Yarmolenko compassionate leave in the midst of the crisis engulfing his home country of Ukraine.

The Eastern European country was invaded by Russian forces on Thursday, quickly advancing on the northern city of Chernihiv, where the West Ham United grew up, and a number of other large population centres, including the capital Kyiv, where Yarmolenko played for the country’s leading club Dynamo for a decade.

With the conflict growing intensity on Friday, manager Moyes revealed the No7 had requested and been granted time off, and also offered relevant support by the Club at this difficult and upsetting time.

I’ve asked if there is anything we can do for Andriy and if there is, we’ll certainly help him

David Moyes

“He’s not in a really good position at the moment, I’ve got to say,” Moyes explained. “We’ve given him a few days off and that’s totally understandable.

“It’s very difficult but I’ve asked him and the Club have been very good again and the Club have asked me to speak with him and I’ve asked if there is anything we can do for him and if there is, we’ll certainly help him.

“He’s asked if he can have a few days off now and we’ve certainly granted him that. It’s a really difficult time for him and his family and we respect that.

“I spoke with him on Thursday at the training ground and he was upset, which you can imagine and rightly so, so we just hope everything goes well and all his family members keep safe.”

Yarmolenko is Ukraine’s second all-time leading goalscorer with 44 goals and has been capped 106 times by his country. He also wore the captain’s armband at last summer’s UEFA European Championship finals.

Prior to that, the forward was a graduate of the Chernihiv Youth Sports School named ‘Yunist’ and also played for Dynamo Kyiv, Desna Chernihiv, Lokomotyv Kyiv and Vidradnyi Kyiv as a teenager before returning to the capital to re-join Dynamo in 2007.

He spent a decade in the capital, winning three Ukrainian Premier League titles, two Ukrainian Cups and three Ukrainian Super Cups, and scored 137 goals in 341 appearances in total.
Yarmolenko has also been named Ukrainian Footballer of the Year four times, having been named his country’s Young Footballer of the Year twice previously.

He has netted eleven goals in 75 appearances for West Ham, having arrived following a single year in Germany with Borussia Dortmund in July 2018.

Moyes revealed the Ukrainian crisis has a topic of conversation at the Club's Rush Green training ground.

“I think the whole world is thinking and talking about it, aren’t we?” he continued. “We’re all deeply saddened by the actions and we’re all desperately hoping there are no deaths, but we know there already has been.

“We’re really saddened by it. We’ve just come out of the pandemic and the last thing we need is to have anything that goes close to the word ‘war’. We really don’t want that at all.”

Everyone at West Ham United offers Andriy our support at this time.