Everton defender Vitalii Mykolenko endured a difficult time when he arrived at Goodison Park, but he’s started to show why the Toffees invested in him last year. Now, journalist Paul Brown has explained to GIVEMESPORT why Sean Dyche deserves a lot of praise for his turnaround.
According to talkSPORT, Mykolenko signed for Everton in January 2022 for a reported sum of roughly £17 million. The international from Ukraine was brought in to take Lucas Digne’s spot after he left to join Aston Villa. At just 22 years old, the former Dynamo Kyiv defender knew he would never be able to adjust to life in the Premier League quickly.
Following a challenging 18 months with the Toffees, Mykolenko has emerged as a major contributor for Dyche’s team this season. The now-24-year-old has scored twice in his previous two games for the Merseyside club, demonstrating both his increased offensive danger and defensive development.
Vitalii Mykolenko has turned things around
After Digne left Everton in 2022, Mykolenko was thrown in at the deep end and forced to play a regular role in the side. When having to adapt to a new country and league at a young age, Mykolenko needed time to develop and settle in, but he struggled to make an impact in his first season. Last term, the Ukraine international found things difficult once again, but he’s beginning to turn things around.
|Ashley Young (23/24)
|Vitalii Mykolenko (23/24)
|Tackles Per 90 Mins
|Interceptions Per 90 Mins
|Take-Ons Success %
|Aerial Duel % Won
|Stats according to FBref
Mykolenko is competing with Ashley Young for a place in the side at the moment, despite the latter featuring mostly at right-back. With Nathan Patterson and Seamus Coleman in reserve, Young is the player to provide cover on the left. Back in September, journalist Brown told GIVEMESPORT that Dyche simply didn’t trust Mykolenko, with Young starting ahead of him on the right in the opening few weeks of the season.
However, Mykolenko has started to step up to the plate and was recently named in WhoScored’s October Premier League Team of the Month. The Everton left-back has adapted his game slightly this term and is getting himself into advanced areas more often, and it’s paying dividends, with the 24-year-old scoring against Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace in the Merseyside club’s last two games.
Paul Brown update
Brown has suggested that Dyche deserves a lot of praise for Mykolenko’s turnaround after helping adapt the way he plays and the influence he now has in the final third. The journalist adds that Mykolenko is now more involved higher up the pitch, rather than in the build-up, where we saw him for the most part last season. Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Brown said…
“I think there were a lot of question marks around him, but I think Sean Dyche deserves a lot of praise for how he’s been able to get him playing in much better form and in better areas of the pitch. Mykolenko used to be quite heavily involved in build-up play at Everton, but he’s now been more involved at the other end, where he has been scoring goals and appearing in the box. He’s become quite an attacking force. We always knew he could do that, but I think his role has slightly changed under Sean Dyche. He’s winning more duels defensively, his positioning has improved massively, and he’s been given a licence to bomb forward rather than have to get involved in the build-up play so much at the back, and I think that suits him.”
Sean Dyche faces a fight to keep hold of key stars
With funds limited at Goodison Park, Everton will have to try and resist the urge to sell some of their key players, with other clubs likely to look to take advantage of their financial situation. A player sale may benefit in terms of giving them a transfer budget to work with, but Dyche is starting to get a tune out of his side.
As per The Athletic, Newcastle United are one of the sides showing an interest in Everton midfielder Amadou Onana. The Magpies are looking to bring in a replacement for Sandro Tonali, who was recently banned for breaching betting regulations. It’s also understood that Eddie Howe is keen on bringing young defender Jarrad Branthwaite to St James’ Park, with the North East club set to raid Everton once again.