Vitalii Mykolenko has explained his absence from what would have been his first home game as an eligible Everton player as being down to a minor back problem.
The 22-year-old's £18m move from Dynamo Kiev was made official on 1st January but he was not registered in time to face Brighton at Goodison Park the next day.
Mykolenko's omission from Duncan Ferguson's matchday squad for the next home fixture against Aston Villa, which proved to be the first and only match of his second spell as caretaker manager, raised plenty of eyebrows, particularly given the fact Everton's other new full-back was also left out.
However, the young Ukrainian says that he had missed a few training sessions in the lead-up to the game after feeling discomfort in his back following his Premier League debut against Norwich the week before and wasn't sure he would make the squad for that reason.
Mykolenko was speaking on the latest episode from YouTube channel of Vlada Zinchenko, wife of Manchester City left-back Oleksandr, which also featured the latter's former team-mate Fabian Delph.
Delph spoke in very positive terms about Everton's new recruit and backed him to be a success in the Premier League after joking that he spoke better English than Zinchenko did when he arrived in England.
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“He's a prospect,” Delph said. “In training, he has a really high work ethic, always asking for the ball, and he has a great left foot. So, for me, I think he has a bright future at Everton Football Club.
“I think he's going to be fine. When you move to such a high-intensity league, you need time to adapt.”
Mykolenko spoke of the welcome he received at Everton and captain Seamus Coleman in particular.
"Seamus Coleman (is like a father figure)," he said. "He's a captain with a big 'C'.
"He texted me at night on New Year's Eve: 'Was great to meet you today. Happy you're part of the team. I get it's a difficult time for you but be strong and I'll be there to help you.'"
Reader Comments (14)
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1 Posted 01/02/2022 at 06:26:14
Keep him away from Delph! It's catching.
2 Posted 01/02/2022 at 06:50:34
Comments like those from Delph don't fill me with confidence either.
3 Posted 01/02/2022 at 06:54:56
He is considered to be one of Europe's brightest prospects at left-back. Give him time to settle down. It's not his fault that he's part of a dysfunctional defence or team; if Scheva rates him, then I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
4 Posted 01/02/2022 at 07:16:47
5 Posted 01/02/2022 at 07:27:07
Good luck, Vitaliy, the name of the game is energy, and although it looks like you've got plenty of this, it's all about getting your second wind, which then gives you time to think!
6 Posted 01/02/2022 at 15:09:46
7 Posted 01/02/2022 at 15:22:50
Delph's been a professional footballer for 16 years and a Premier League player for 13. He served three seasons under one of the greatest managers to ever walk a touchline. And he was the starting left-back for a side that won 18 games in a row, the Premier League record.
If he says Mykolenko is going to make a fine Premier League left-back, I take his word.
8 Posted 01/02/2022 at 15:25:56
9 Posted 01/02/2022 at 15:39:44
But he's 22 so has time on his side and Godfrey can do a job if needed in the interim.
10 Posted 01/02/2022 at 15:45:12
There were two much shared stories on Twitter that contributed to this, plus his absence from the Villa game.
One was that Dunc told Moshiri he was crap. The second and even more fanciful was that Dunc met some Everton fans on the train on his way to his interview and told them that Mykolenko is complete crap, Patterson is not near ready, everyone is miserable at the club, and everyone hates Rafa.
Seems like a novel thing to share such info with strangers on the way to a job interview. But a lot of people took the bait and seem to believe this is all fact.
11 Posted 01/02/2022 at 16:06:59
Glenn Hoddle believed in faith healing and heart touching, but it didn't affect his eye for talent.
12 Posted 01/02/2022 at 16:26:52
14 Posted 01/02/2022 at 22:46:24
He is also a rabid "Anti-vaxer". His take apparently is that the body's immune system is designed to deal with all these things on its own – and needs no help?
The body's ability to heal itself though is letting him down a bit with all the new and recurring injuries he suffers.
15 Posted 02/02/2022 at 13:49:39
Give this lad a chance!!
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