Borussia Dortmund have reacted swiftly to selling Ousmane Dembele to FC Barcelona in a record-breaking deal, adding Ukraine attacker Andrey Yarmolenko from Dynamo Kiev on a four-year contract until 2021.
A long-standing transfer target for the Black and Yellows, Yarmolenko had been close to joining the Ruhr side in both 2015 and 2016: Third time is the charm. The 27-year-old joins for a reported fee in the region of €25 million.
A 69-time Ukraine international, Yarmolenko has been one of the most prolific attackers in his domestic leagues, scoring a whopping 137 goals and adding 89 assists in 339 matches for the club. The right-winger has ample experience on the European stage, having appeared in 36 UEFA Champions League (including qualifiers) and 42 UEFA Europa League matches.
Standing tall at 189 cm (6’2”), Yarmolenko offers a robust physique that should also allow him to play central forward in a pinch. With a cannon for a left foot, he usually moves inward from his position on the right flank and releases shots with deadly force. Despite his size, he’s also an adequate dribbler with surprisingly agile feet, even though he’s not going to wow anyone with the kind of daring runs Dortmund fans have become accustom to from both Dembele and Christian Pulisic.
Sporting director Michael Zorc said: “Andrey is a player we have had an eye on for a long time and who stands for top-level football both at his club and in the service of the Ukraine national team.”
Yarmolenko said: “I’m very thankful that Dynamo Kiev have fulfilled my dream of moving to a big club in Europe! I will work hard in every training session to help BVB achieve their biggest goals — that’s what I’m always about.”
The 27-year-old, who will turn 28 on October 23, will wear No. 9 for Dortmund, adding further intrigue to the standing of Emre Mor, who wore that jersey last season. It certainly seems the Turkey international will not be with the club after the closing of the transfer window on Thursday, August 31.