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Everton kick off the January transfer window by signing left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko

Everton are the first Premier League side to make a signing in the January transfer window after signing Ukrainian international Vitaliy Mykolenko for an undisclosed fee.

Even though it is an undisclosed fee it has been reported that the initial fee is £17m which will be paid in instalments, and it has the potential to rise to £20m.

The defender has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with the club which will tie him down until he is 26 years old.

He joins from Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev having played for the club 132 times over a five-year period where he won the Ukraine Premier League, Ukraine Super Cup on two occasions and the Ukraine Suer Cup three times.

Mykolenko scored seven goals for the club, clocked up 20 assists over those years and has picked up valuable Champions League experience in the past two years.

He becomes the eight Ukrainian to play in the Premier League with negotiations for the deal having supposedly started a few weeks ago hence why Everton were able to announce him on the first day of the window.

The name may ring some bells for any of those who followed the European Championships last summer as he was Ukraine’s starting left-back as they reached the quarter-finals of the competition before getting knocked out by England.

Now we wait and see whether he was brought in to provide competitions for Lucas Digne or whether he will be his replacement with Chelsea and Inter Milan just two of many clubs who are reportedly interested in the Frenchman.

It will be interesting to see how Mykolenko differs from Digne with Rafa Benitez preferring his full backs to not always be too attacking which is what Digne excelled at, being Everton’s main creative force since he joined the club and definitely a fans favourite.

But Mykolenko will be hoping he will be go on and become exactly that as well.

Speaking to Everton’s website he said: “I am excited about the opportunity of playing in front of our supporters at Everton. I have seen the last few games at Goodison Park and they were unbelievable. 

“They are incredible fans to whom I feel great responsibility.”

The 22-year-old added: “I like to play on the front foot and get forward when I can.

“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.”

This signing will be Benitez’s sixth signings with the previous five being a mixed bag with Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend being successful whereas Salomon Rondon has not so far.

Asmir Begovic and Andy Lonergan were brought in as back-ups to Jordan Pickford so therefore have not had too many minutes to impress with Lonergan yet to make his debut.

Mykolenko is the first signing since former director of football Marcel Brands left the club.Unfortunately, though the Brighton game at Goodison Park comes too early for him as he will not eligible to be in the matchday squad.

READ MORE: Everton player ratings: Everton win at last thanks to a Demarai Gray stoppage time stunner

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