Everton announce signing of Vitaliy Mykolenko

Saturday, 1 January, 2022 77comments  |  Jump to last

Everton have confirmed the signing of left-back Vitalii Mykolenko from Dynamo Kiev on a 4½-year contract.

Though the transfer fee for a deal that was concluded before Christmas is officially undisclosed, the 22-year-old defender is reported to have cost in the region of €21m (~£18m), the same price the Blues paid for Lucas Digne, the player whom Mykolenko looks likely to replace.

The Ukrainian international's arrival comes after weeks of speculation over Digne's future after he was said to have fallen out with manager Rafael Benitez over a training-ground exchange last month that might have ended his Everton career.

Although there have been suggestions in the media that Digne will be part of the squad that faces Brighton tomorrow because of a shortage of numbers due to injuries and Covid-19 cases, the Frenchman hasn't been on the team sheet since the Merseyside derby a month ago.

He continues to be linked with a move away during the current transfer window, with the likes of Chelsea, Newcastle and Brighton credited with interest in England and Napoli and Inter Milan among the clubs leading the chase from the Continent.

Mykolenko, who is seen as a young and dynamic direct replacement for Digne, can also play in central defence and as a wing-back. He has 21 caps for Ukraine and started four of their five matches at Euro 2020, helping his country reach the quarter-finals of the competition.

“I have always dreamed of playing in the Premier League," Mykolenko said on evertonfc.com. "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. I like to play on the front foot and get forward when I can.

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“Modern football demands that full-backs are able to attack as well as defend. I think I am a versatile defender who can get up and down the pitch.

“But I believe desire and commitment are the most important attributes and I will aim to bring those qualities.”

Mylenko will wear the number 19 shirt last worn by James Rodriguez who left the club for the Middle East last September. He will not be eligible for tomorrow's match against Brighton but will be registered to be available to face Hull City in the FA Cup next weekend.


Reader Comments (77)

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Brian Williams
1 Posted 01/01/2022 at 13:49:53
Welcome to Everton lad. Give 100% every game and you'll be loved!
Martin Reppion
2 Posted 01/01/2022 at 13:52:01
Not seen much of him, but all the reports show this to look like a good signing.
I am a big fan of Digne but he has been looking to leave and that is his choice. I would prefer that he moves abroad so he doesn't come back to taunt us twice a season.

Now we need to sort out right back and find a central midfielder to add some flair. The money we raise from the expected sales of Gomes, Digne, Holgate and maybe more should give us the opportunity to shop, if not at Harrods, then at least Sainsbury's rather than Lidl and Poundland.
I look forward to seeing what unfolds over the month.

Steve Brown
3 Posted 01/01/2022 at 13:58:27
Good luck to the lad, now sign a right back.
Mike Hayes
4 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:00:15
Great news let’s have a few more additions get rid of the deadwood including Kenshite - good luck to the lad just give 110% and we will love you 💙 UTFT ETID COYB NSNO
Tom Harvey
5 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:02:55

The only way Gomez and Holgate will be going out the door will be by loan or for very little money, the club will keep them rather than the latter.

Tony Twist
6 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:07:11
Welcome and we all hope he has a long and successful career with us, injury free. The type of player we need more of, no nonsense, high energy and hopefully can do the basic things very well. Digne too weak defensively and has been found out now, let's hope our new left back becomes a star.
Tom Bowers
7 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:08:29
I think we all liked Digne when he came and he was a class act but this season he has (like a few others) under performed and after the supposed spat with Rafa his days were numbered.
Hopefully this new lad has the goods.
Soren Moyer
8 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:08:42
Great signing. However, we will struggle to get rid of likes of Delph, Gbamin, Holgate, Gomesh, Tosun and Iwobi.
Nicholas Ryan
9 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:12:13
I wish the club would publish a transcript of THAT conversation between Benitez and Digne!!
Jim Lloyd
10 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:12:32
A very good start to the transfer window, let's hope we can land a right back as well, but good, early start.
Derek Knox
11 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:13:47
Great News, though not exactly a surprise but fair do's to those at Everton for getting the business done early for a change. Have heard Patterson and Kamara next from Rangers, with Kamara possibly on a loan with an option to buy !

Welcome aboard Vitaly.

Tony Everan
12 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:16:25
Welcome Vitaliy

Digne’s out and we’ve signed a replacement with not much faffing about, so thank god for that. Now a right back, Patterson looks a strong possibility.

Joe McMahon
13 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:18:27
Soren, we all know that, but please cheer up, the new year has only just started.
Colin Glassar
14 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:23:19
Soren, if it’s only Iwobi who leaves this window I’ll consider that to be a roaring success.
Oliver Molloy
15 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:29:56
Martin @ 2, Digne may be looking to leave alright, but I think this is a case of the manager showing who's boss.

Soren @ 8, I don't think we can let any of those players leave, given the size of our squad unless of course we can replace with better which means decent transfer fee's which will be very unlikely in my opinion

Regards our new signing, he wasn't too good against England in the Euro's and that's all I have seen of him.

Welcome to Everton Vitaliy, hope you settle well and do the business for us.
HNY everyone, hope it's a good one for all.

Martin Reppion
16 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:30:47
If Iwobi has a good African Nations cup we may get some offers in. It's our best hope to move him on.
Gbamin I still feel can do a job. He just needs time to remember what his job is after so long out. The time away and playing could do him a lot of good.
Derek Knox
17 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:34:38
Colin @ 14, you will miss him, we all will ! 🤔😜
Barry Rathbone
18 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:52:19
Big shoes to fill fingers crossed for the lad
Dale Self
19 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:55:56
Vitaliy needed! He’s got that look, he wants to be here. This could be cricial if we can move Digne satisfactorily
Tony Twist
20 Posted 01/01/2022 at 14:57:05
Nice to see Everton getting business in early.

I would like, in the ideal world, now for us to get both Ramsey (the one at Aberdeen, people, not the over-the-hill one from Juventus) and Patterson from Rangers – then we would have two fullbacks on each side; one being more a defensive back and one more a wing-back.

Ramsey does look raw but seems more suited to the wing-back role. Young, energetic players which would bode well for the future. Whether we have the money for it or not is ano-ther matter.

Mike Gaynes
21 Posted 01/01/2022 at 15:40:42
This is just the sort of signing we should be making right now... a player who is much younger, much faster and (presumably) much less expensive at the pay window than the man he's been signed to replace.

If Mykolenko displays the same kind of talent, passion and commitment that Digne always has, this will be a good signing indeed.

And for the likely-departing Digne, I wish nothing but the best.

Jack Convery
22 Posted 01/01/2022 at 15:42:23
Young, hungry and with proper experience already. Welcome and do the biz please. If you know any other good young Ukranians, let Rafa Benitez know, there's a good lad. COYBs.
Stu Darlington
23 Posted 01/01/2022 at 15:50:26
I agree, Tony, early business seems to me evidence of planning ahead.

Like you, I like the idea of young enthusiastic players with the potential to take us to the next level. I know it doesn't always work out but it's got to be worth a try… especially as we haven't got the money for Hollywood signings.

Paul Birmingham
24 Posted 01/01/2022 at 16:13:17
Good boost and let's hope there's a couple more coming in.

It's going to be tough to shift some of Everton's lost causes, but let's hope so.

Iakovos Iasonidis
25 Posted 01/01/2022 at 16:15:42
He seems decent but for sure not better than Digne. Having Digne as a starter and Mykolenko as his back-up would be great for depth. I hope we sell Digne for more than £25M.
John Keating
26 Posted 01/01/2022 at 16:18:37
Must be the earliest quickest signing in any Everton transfer window.

Still think the right-back position was more needed early doors and The Club are still looking at Patterson and, the far cheaper option, Ramsay.
Both very young lads and will both find it a bit of a culture shock if either were to go straight in the team.

Fingers crossed we can get rid of the deadwood early too?p

Colin Glassar
27 Posted 01/01/2022 at 16:34:07
Degsy 17, I'll send him a “good luck in your new job card” and a copy of The Dummies Guide to Football.

I envy young Vitaliy. He's going to the greatest club on earth, will be super rich, and can have the best looking birds in the Ukraine. Lucky sod!

Joe McMahon
28 Posted 01/01/2022 at 16:35:52
I certainly welcome this signing. Many seem to forget Digne has been pretty awful for a long time. Yes, he was very good to begin with, but his form over the last 18 months has been lethargic.
Mike Gaynes
29 Posted 01/01/2022 at 16:41:08
I have no interest in our shifting any "lost causes" or "deadwood" or whatever the operative expression is, just for the sake of getting rid.

There's plenty of time to complete a clearout in the summer, but right now we are desperately short of healthy bodies and have fixtures stacked up like flights circling over JFK in a snowstorm.

A player should only be sold in January if his replacement is already aboard.

Richard Lyons
30 Posted 01/01/2022 at 16:51:18
Previous managers would have waited weeks or even months before blooding a new, young signing, giving him time to "bed in" or whatever. It seems to me that we haven't got that luxury now - how soon will he be allowed to play?
David Hayes
31 Posted 01/01/2022 at 16:55:31
Why do so many TWs always look at and suggest players who are playing at such a low level? From second-rate Scottish clubs and then imagine they will magically become Premier League top-half quality overnight. Many of the same also continuously berate our existing squad as Championship or lower in ability.

Look at where Leicester and West Ham recruit from: is it Scottish clubs like Aberdeen? We need proven Premier League players at top-half level or equivalent from elsewhere. These players are out there; those clubs I mentioned find them on a regular basis.

The ones we do find, Digne now, most can't wait to get rid of. Small-club mentality in the core support, and then blame the club for no ambition.

Robert Tressell
32 Posted 01/01/2022 at 16:56:27
Richard # 30. Seems to me that Mykolenko needs to win the shirt off Godfrey who has done well at left-back.

By the end of the season / start of next, Mykolenko should be first choice. Godfrey will hopefully have matured into a partner for Branthwaite – although that may take another season or so.

Not unlike how Baines earned his spot of Lescott – and Lescott matured into a better centre-back.

None of Henry, Vidic and Evra looked up to much on arrival. He's likely to need a bit of time to acclimatise.

Brian Wilkinson
33 Posted 01/01/2022 at 17:04:06
I think Graeme Sharp and Alex Young might disagree with you, David.
John Hall
34 Posted 01/01/2022 at 17:06:06
Can he play tomorrow?
Robert Tressell
35 Posted 01/01/2022 at 17:06:49
David # 31. I'd have thought West Ham's signings of Coufal and Soucek from the Czech Republic compares to Scottish League standard. I also recall Virgil van Dijk, Odsonne Edouard, John McGinn, Victor Wanyama, Aaron Hickey, Andy Robertson, Moussa Dembele and others coming from Scotland. Quite a talented bunch and very good value.

Contrast our experience of Premier League ready disappointments, who have resulted in extraordinarily huge losses and no sale proceeds to reinvest in better.

Rob Halligan
36 Posted 01/01/2022 at 17:15:46
John # 34…..No.
Michael Kenrick
37 Posted 01/01/2022 at 17:30:33
The trick, Tony, is to spell their names right:

Calvin Ramsay plays for Aberdeen

Aaron Ramsey players (rarely) for Juventus.

Trevor Cotterell
38 Posted 01/01/2022 at 17:36:00
I've not seen him, but I haven't spotted anything much negative said anywhere, so that has to be good. If he really wants to be here (they all say they do when they arrive!) then I'm with him all the way. New options, and for once good early business, which leaves room to manoeuvre too.

But more are needed. I think we'll muddle through to mid(ish) table regardless – the squad isn't that awful – and there are a load more whose contracts run out at the end of this season, opening up the chance to rebuild.

But let's not forget we've got Nkounkou due back next season having learned some lessons and feel that's in their minds too.

Digne? I just don't know. Clearly has the ability but has lost the faith. Could it come back? Not long ago he was one no-one wanted to see go... the problem, it seems, is he wants to get forward too much and his defensive work, whilst not bad, just isn't great. He can whip the ball across, can take good corners and free-kicks (still). Doesn't that actually make him... a winger? Perhaps he should stay and be used more in that role. Dunno – just floating it!

David Greenwood
39 Posted 01/01/2022 at 17:36:04
David @31,

I'm guessing James Maddison is one of those players you refer to that we should have been looking at?

Can you guess which league he had a season-long loan at before his move to Leicester?

And also, David, when did Digne last have a good game for us?

Jay Harris
40 Posted 01/01/2022 at 17:54:15
A no-nonsense manager and some no-nonsense players – just what we need to change this club's culture.

All we need now is a right-back and a goal-scoring midfield player.

Ian Linn
41 Posted 01/01/2022 at 18:21:41
Leon Osman's Russian love child?
John Keating
42 Posted 01/01/2022 at 18:21:44
David @31,

I was really surprised reading your post but, as you mentioned West Ham and they're on the telly just now, have a look at the starting 11 and their last clubs:

Fabianski – Swansea
Coufal – Slavia Prague
Dawson – Watford
Diop – Toulouse
Johnson – Youth team
Rice – Youth team
Soucek – Slova Liberec
Bowen – Hull City
Benrahma – Brentford
Lanzini – Al Jazira Club
Antonio – Nottm Forest

So, David, I'm sure you'll agree: West Ham are doing not too bad and not many of those starting today have come from teams you expect us to get our wasters from…

Guy Rogers
43 Posted 01/01/2022 at 18:33:19
Good one, John! Aren't we all sick of Real Madrid and Man Utd hand-me-downs!
Andy Crooks
44 Posted 01/01/2022 at 18:36:13
David @ 31 Seamus Coleman. Shit, you're right, Sligo Rovers picked our pockets.
Joe Harper, shit, you're right, David!!
Guy Rogers
45 Posted 01/01/2022 at 18:36:15
By the way, on a totally non-related subject, I wouldn't be surprised if Brands turns up at Brighton as their Director of Football given how much he loves Potter.
John Raftery
46 Posted 01/01/2022 at 18:37:49
In terms of rebuilding the squad, this signing ticks a few boxes. Mykolenko is 22 years old, is 5ft-11ins, seems to have plenty of pace, and potentially will have a resale value depending on how good he is.

He may need a few weeks to settle but we must hope he has the ambition, hunger and quality to adapt quickly to his new surroundings.

Andy Crooks
47 Posted 01/01/2022 at 18:39:33
Ian Linn, it is uncanny, you are right. The Osman legacy. That's why he never went to Finch Farm. He was working abroad.
Guy Rogers
48 Posted 01/01/2022 at 18:43:52
If indeed the reports of him being Leon Osman's love child are correct, he's been part of some serious eastern European doping program!
Guy Rogers
49 Posted 01/01/2022 at 18:46:29
Itching for the next 2 signings… hopefully a proper right back.
Derek Knox
50 Posted 01/01/2022 at 19:07:58
Andy @ 44, rumour has it we are still paying Sligo Rovers to this day. Blue Bill said there was cheque in the post, and it never arrived (hmm) ! :-)
Tony Everan
51 Posted 01/01/2022 at 19:11:02
Ian, Andy, Guy. I was thinking he has a resemblance to Sinead O'Connor. But somehow I can't see the Gwladys Street singing Nothing Compares 2U for him.
Pat Kelly
52 Posted 01/01/2022 at 19:32:49
Bit of a gamble this. Especially with a 4½-year contract. Hopefully he turns out a decent Premier League player and we're not stuck with another Tosun who has sat out most of his contract.
Dave Williams
53 Posted 01/01/2022 at 21:58:25
Tony – good spot!!!

Hope he is strong, fast and passionate. Digne is finished here.

Keith Taylor
54 Posted 01/01/2022 at 22:27:32
I don't know enough about him to say whether or not he will be a good signing. Digne has become a defensive liability and is one of the first to let his head drop when things are not going well, so Mykolenko should be a step up from that.

It's refreshing to see the club getting on the front foot, being decisive, and doing business early rather than the usual long drawn out "will he, won't he" that has become all too familiar in recent years. Maybe this a sign that things are starting to change with the mentality of the club hierarchy. Here's hoping…

Robert Tressell
55 Posted 01/01/2022 at 22:36:19
I see WBA have signed Daryl Dike, the young US striker, for just £8M.

Shame we couldn't have got him at that price. Very raw but would certainly be a handful.

Seems to be a lot of young quality coming out of the US now (and Canada). Perhaps their league and infrastructure has matured.

Sam Hoare
56 Posted 01/01/2022 at 22:56:08
An interesting one. He looks to have the right assets but not that many Ukrainians or Russians have succeeded in the Premier League. I remember expecting great things from Bilyaletdinov which never came to pass.

The price is about 30% higher than it should be, I'd say, and not that far off what we paid for Digne, which doesn't seem right… but time will tell if it's decent value or not.

I find it strange how quickly people seem to want good players to leave when they are having a poor patch. There's a reason many top clubs are enquiring about Digne and Mykolenko will do very well if he reaches the Frenchman's level.

A right-back next, maybe some more dynamism in the middle, and Calvert-Lewin back fit; we might win some games again.

David Midgley
57 Posted 01/01/2022 at 22:59:51
Best wishes and good health to Bluenoses and your families wherever you are. I note a sense of relief and some optimism in recent posts. Lets hope it's justified. The lad from Rangers would appear to be the main interest but how does the RB from Aberdeen compare? When you buy a house the first thing you do is make sure that the roof is sound and watertight. It would appear as though Benitez is doing that with the defence. Hopefully he will address the attacking situation. Who knows? I feel a lot more confident now than I did a month ago.
Mike Keating
58 Posted 01/01/2022 at 00:07:18
Michael @ 37 - the trick is to spell your verbs right.
Plays not Players
Sorry to be pedantic but you started it.
Steve Brown
59 Posted 01/01/2022 at 00:10:58
Sam @ 56, good point on our readiness to countenance selling Digne.

Clubs like Juventus, Inter and Chelsea are being linked to Digne. He is a French international and one of the few quality players in the squad. But we are willing to sell him for 25 million because Benitez didn't like his comments?

It's just as well our manager hasn't read ToffeeWeb if he is that sensitive, as his selection, gameplan and substitutions have been rightly questioned on here since the debacle of the last 3 months.

Bobby Mallon
60 Posted 02/01/2022 at 00:35:49
Steve Brown 59 well said.
Alex Carew
61 Posted 02/01/2022 at 00:58:06
So what’s different now regarding FFP? We can afford to buy this guy but couldn’t bring Dumfries in just a few months back? Have we really managed to get back on track in that time?

I am happy with the signing though, Digne has looked out of sorts for 18 months now and even if he doesn’t go (which he probably will) it will at least offer some decent competition.

Mike Gaynes
62 Posted 02/01/2022 at 01:36:02
Robert #55,

That is an absolute coup for WBA and a huge fucking mistake by us. That price is less than half of what Orlando was demanding when Everton was interested in Dike last spring. His price tag was lowered by an injury-slowed season in MLS, but we should have stuck with it and gotten him half off as WBA did.

Dike is raw indeed and will require seasoning, but he has a rare combination of speed, power and aggression, and an RPG for a right foot. He's built like Adama Traore, only six inches taller and 50 pounds heavier. And he's just 21.

I predict that in 2 years (or less, if he makes the US World Cup lineup), he will look like the steal of the decade. And it should have been us.

I am seriously pissed off.

Vijay Nair
63 Posted 02/01/2022 at 01:40:39
Alex (61),

Dumfries has already come out and said that an offer from Everton was on the table but his preference was for Inter. That said... not sure why there was no Plan B for another right-back.

Mark Andersson
64 Posted 02/01/2022 at 03:40:09
He looks slow on YouTube – or was it my bad connection speed?

Rafa will fall on his sword with his prediction of us having a better 2nd half of the season.

Rafa needs a good run of wins or the restless will get him run outta town...

Laurie Hartley
65 Posted 02/01/2022 at 04:09:10
John # 42 - it would be interesting to know how many of them are Moyes signings.

Mark # 64 - from what I have seen on YouTube I think it must have been your connection speed.

Mike Gaynes
66 Posted 02/01/2022 at 04:37:18
Mark #64, I saw him play in November against Bayern Munich. He is very fast.

Or maybe it was just my TV's high-speed connection.

Mark Andersson
67 Posted 02/01/2022 at 06:57:24
Mike, I think I need your high-speed connection... would come in useful for my other favorite internet channel. PFBF
Eddie Dunn
68 Posted 02/01/2022 at 07:44:38
Have we signed Sinead O'Connor?
Colin Glassar
69 Posted 02/01/2022 at 07:59:53
24 hours later and we still haven’t signed a second player. What’s going on? Typical Everton that.
Brian Murray
70 Posted 02/01/2022 at 08:32:40
Eddie @68.

Let's hope nothing compares to him. Benitez knows how to hold a grudge until the bitter end until he gets what he wants. Rodriquez and Digne are just two we know about. He would get the freedom of the city if he somehow ousts that idiot playwright.

Steve Shave
71 Posted 02/01/2022 at 09:08:47
Mike G - I agree, in a world where we can't afford a quality back up option for DCL we needed to shop in the Daryl Dike window. The guy could potentially be an absolute beast and has all the attributes to make it in the premier league. I guess we have other priorities right now which I understand but am no less frustrated by as we opted for the free old carthorse instead of the above mentioned sensible approach.
Dermot O'Brien
72 Posted 02/01/2022 at 09:09:43
Eddie #68
Hahaha, thanks for that, cheered me right up.
Alan McGuffog
73 Posted 02/01/2022 at 09:17:30
Looks a good acquisition. Young, promising, good fitness level.
So, young man...welcome to Finch Farm. Will it be ankle ligaments, hamstrings or medial knee ligaments for you today sir ?
Michael Pennington
74 Posted 02/01/2022 at 10:28:09
Okay, we sell a French international because Rafa doesn't want him going over the half-way line. We then buy another left- back who's an attacking left-back – you couldn't make this up… unless you follow The Toffees, then it's just normal.

In over 50 years of watching Everton, I've never looked forward to going the game less than I do today.

Why do people on here keep going on about Bill Kenwright? It's so boring and factually incorrect.

Paul Swan
75 Posted 02/01/2022 at 10:37:31
Hope he hits the ground running. As long as he defends against crosses, stops losing his man and giving stupid cheap free kicks around our area then he will be an upgrade on what we currently have.
Jerome Shields
76 Posted 02/01/2022 at 10:59:51
Will probably be introduced into the team when he is deemed to be up to speed, Expect Godfrey to be still left back in Digne absence until then. i. e. If Digne is sold

Good Luck to him on his Everton career.

Colin Glassar
77 Posted 02/01/2022 at 11:02:43
Jerome, I wouldn’t be surprised if Digne starts today as both parties will be keen to showcase his talents.

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