West Ham star Andriy Yarmolenko to travel and reunite with family after fleeing war in Ukraine
Andriy Yarmolenko has missed West Ham’s last two games while on compassionate leave following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of his native Ukraine.
Andriy Yarmolenko will get his family back from Poland after fleeing their native Ukraine, his compatriot Andriy Shevchenko has claimed.
The 32-year-old winger has not played for West Ham since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded his native country last Thursday.
The club gave him a period of compassionate leave so he missed Sunday’s Premier League win over Wolves and Wednesday’s FA Cup loss to Southampton.
Yarmolenko is among the Ukrainian players to release an impassioned video calling for opposition to Russia following its act of aggression in Eastern Europe.
The United Nations reports that the invasion prompted 500,000 people to flee their homes, with Yarmolenko’s wife and one of his children among those displaced by the war.
It is according to Shevchenko, who has close ties to his former international teammate, that he also managed in the Ukraine setup.
Has the Premier League done enough to support its Ukrainian footballers? Have your say in the comments…
“Yarmolenko also has his situation… his wife was with one of his children in Ukraine, just crossed the border – she is in Poland now,” Shevchenko told Sky Sports News.
“I think Andriy is now flying to Poland to pick up his wife. I’m not sure but I know his wife, I think she’s now across the border and she’s probably coming here.
“I know how difficult it is for him – it’s a stressful time when his family is there.
“I can’t even concentrate. I just watch a bit of the news about what’s going on. I can’t even watch a football game.”
West Ham have not confirmed that Yarmolenko has left the UK to pick up his family, but manager David Moyes has explained how they are supporting him amid a “really difficult situation”.
Discussing the former Borussia Dortmund ace on Tuesday, Moyes said: “Obviously he’s really, really upset about the whole situation, which a lot of people are, especially Ukrainians, so we won’t rush him.
“I asked him to come today and see how he feels. If he feels good and up to it, he will travel with the team. If he doesn’t, we will give him a few days off. additional leave.
“It’s a daily and ongoing thing. Things can change very quickly, but we’ll give him the chance to go with his own feelings.
“He has a lot of family and friends in Ukraine, and he worries about everyone. He realizes the difficulty that is happening and he is far away and can’t do much about it. He’s upset, boy, and rightly so.”
If Yarmolenko has traveled to Poland as Shevchenko claims, it seems highly unlikely that he will be available to face Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday night.