Former Ukraine head coach Myron Markevych has heaped praise on Vitaliy Mykolenko, backing the left-back for success at Everton.

Rafael Benitez and Lucas Digne have not had the best of starts to their relationship at Everton. The Spanish manager has been unconvinced by the Frenchman, who, in previous seasons, has been pivotal to the Toffees’ offensive output. His seven assists last season were a testament to his contribution in the final third.

However, with Benitez’s arrival, the team has adopted a different approach that what it did under Carlo Ancelotti. Everton are looking to protect the ball more and hit opponents on the counter. These ideas have not aligned well with Digne, who likes to play in a possession-based style.

Hence, there is a visible disagreement between Digne and Benitez, leading to speculation regarding the Frenchman’s future. However, as things stand, the Toffees do not have a necessary backup or alternative for Digne at left-back, with Ben Godfrey playing many games in the position.

As a result, Vitaliy Mykolenko has been linked with Everton over a January transfer. The left-back is reportedly in advanced talks over a winter move, with his club valuing the Ukrainian at £20 million. It is not clear if Everton are prepared to pay that kind of price to lure Mykolenko away, but reports suggest a move might be close.

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Former Ukraine head coach Myron Markevych has now backed Mykolenko to succeed at Goodison Park, heaping praises on the left-back’s quality. His comments appeared in Liverpool Echo, as the 70-year-old suggested a move to the Premier League might be best for the player.

Markevych said, “By his dedication, his desire to improve, Vitaliy Mykolenko deserved such a challenge in his career. It’s really a real challenge for the 22-year-old, who has proven with his quality play recently at all levels that he is ready to test his capabilities in the world’s strongest soccer league.”

“I had to read the statements of some experts that it’s too early for Mykolenko to go to England. I do not think so; on the contrary, Vitaliy urgently needs to bid farewell to the UPL championship. I have no doubt that thanks to his desire to play through thick and thin, Mykolenko will gain credibility with the local fans and do his best to get Everton out of the relegation zone.”

According to widespread reports, a January move to Everton appears to be a formality for Vitaliy Mykolenko. However, only time will tell if the Ukrainian defender can be an able replacement for Digne, whose time at the Merseyside club appears to be nigh on ending.

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