Everton boss Frank Lampard is likely to hand Vitaliy Mykolenko more first-team opportunities in the coming weeks, according to journalist Paul Brown.
Lampard’s predecessor Rafael Benitez signed Mykolenko at the start of January for £17m, but the full-back has found game time hard to come by in his opening couple of months at Goodison Park.
How has Mykolenko fared at Everton to date?
Mykolenko made his full debut for the Toffees in the FA Cup against Hull City in early January, and he made his Premier League bow the following week.
However, he was then forced to miss matches due to testing positive for Covid-19, and Lampard opted to leave him on the bench for Everton’s defeats against Southampton and Manchester City.
He finally got some more top-flight minutes when he came on as a substitute against Tottenham earlier this month, and he started Everton’s most recent outing against Wolves, although he was taken off just before the hour mark.
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What has Brown said about Mykolenko?
Mykolenko has been a peripheral figure in the Everton squad under Lampard, but Brown thinks the former Chelsea manager will now put more faith in the Ukrainian defender as the team look to stave off the threat of relegation.
Looking ahead, Brown told GIVEMESPORT: “I think for the long-term, even for the rest of this season, you’ll probably see Lampard relying on Mykolenko a little bit more.”
Will Mykolenko start Everton’s next match against Newcastle?
It seems extremely likely that he will be drafted into the starting line-up by Lampard.
Jonjoe Kenny has been regularly getting the nod ahead of Mykolenko at left-back in recent weeks, but he was sent off on the weekend against Wolves for two bookable offences.
This means that he will be suspended when Everton host Newcastle on Thursday, and Mykolenko is the obvious choice to come in and replace him.
This clash at Goodison Park promises to be a huge one, and could go some way to determining whether Everton will still be a top-flight club next season as they are currently only above the relegation zone on goal difference.
If Mykolenko can impress against the Magpies, he could start to nail down his place in the side heading into the final two months of the campaign.