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Everton sign Mykolenko as frozen-out defender nears Goodison Park exit

Vitaliy Mykolenko Dynamo Kiev November 2021

Everton boss Rafa Benitez has signed Ukraine defender Vitaliy Mykolenko from Dynamo Kiev for an undisclosed fee.

The 22-year-old left-back, who has been capped 21 caps for his country, has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal keeping him at Goodison Park until June 2026. Mykolenko is understood to have cost Everton around £17m, as per The Times.

Mykolenko told Everton TV: “I have always dreamed of playing in the Premier League. English football is where the game was born and I think that it will suit my game very well.

“I am 22 but I don’t feel like a youngster. I have experience of playing at European level and hope I will continue to improve as a player.

“And I am excited about the opportunity of playing in front of our supporters at Everton. I have seen the last few games at Goodison Park and they were unbelievable.”

Mykolenko, who becomes Benitez’s sixth signing for the club, brings a wealth of experience having played in the Champions League. He also reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 with Ukraine.

“I hope that we can say something in a few days,” said Benitez last month, regarding Mykolenko. “I’m quite confident that we will do it.”

Ross Barkley linked with Everton return

Chelsea's Ross Barkley has been linked with a move back to Everton.

 

Mykolenko, who can also operate in central defence, is expected to replace Lucas Digne. Digne has fallen out of favour with Benitez in recent weeks and has been strongly linked with Brighton and Chelsea.


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Mykolenko deal set to push Digne out

Thomas Tuchel has been hit by the news that Ben Chilwell will miss the rest of the season through injury. That leaves Marcos Alonso as his cover at left-back and so the Blues could address that in January.

 

And Sky Italia have reported the Blues are following Digne with “great interest”.

Inter Milan are also interested in the 28-year-old, who skippered Everton earlier in the season. But Digne has found himself frozen out in recent weeks. He was dropped against Arsenal and has not been able to get back into Benitez’s thinking since.

Inter were pursuing a loan deal, but it was claimed Everton wanted an obligatory purchase clause in any deal.

However, Gazzetta Dello Sport, via Sport Witness, have since reported “the conditions for the deal to go through are now known: loan with the right of redemption, without obligation”.

READ MORE: Benitez gives exciting Everton updates on Calvert-Lewin and January transfers