“This is a big step in my life. It was difficult for me to decide on this. I have to grow and England will be a giant leap for me as a player. I will try to absorb everything and count on the help of the coach,” Vitaly said at the first European press conference for Everton football club.
In Europe, they began to actively follow Vitaliy after a strong last season: he performed well in the football Champions League and became one of the leaders of Kiev. At Euro 2020, Mikolenko played at the base, but he didn’t remember anything special. Andriy Shevchenko, they say, asked to sign him to Genoa football club – but Mikolenko chose Everton. Vitali was also actively followed at Napoli.
“I like to act ahead,” Mikolenko reflected. – Now the defenders have to play both in defense and in attack. I believe that desire and commitment are the most important qualities for a player. I will try to bring them into my game too.”
Vitali is called the opposite of what you don’t always want to see in football players. “Sometimes I look at the current young generation and wonder. They got tattoos, a hairstyle in greasing – and that’s all football for them. They don’t really need him. All thoughts about the hairstyle being normal. And you look at Mikolenko: there are no tattoos and a man’s hairstyle. If the guys want to succeed in sports, then it should be in the first place, ”said coach Oleg Luzhny. It’s not really about the football game though.
Mikolenko ended up in Everton due to a quarrel between Benitez and main defender Luca Dine
At the beginning of the football season, 28-year-old Lucas Digne constantly played in Everton in the position of Mikolenko. During his four years with the Everton team, he became one of the leaders in the dressing room. Luca also took the set pieces and led Everton to the field with the captain’s armband when Seamus Coleman was not there.
Everything broke in early December. Digne found himself out of the application for the match with Arsenal – although the player himself did not have any information about the injury. He also missed games with Crystal Palace and Chelsea without a public explanation.
The main version of the British football publications – the Frenchman quarreled with Benitez. Rafa asked him to play more defensively and not to join the attacks. Luke spoke out strongly against it. For this, the coach unhooked him from the squad – so as not to create a toxic atmosphere in the locker room. “Luke was gone just because he told me he was ill. He told me about the disease – and that’s all,” Rafa defended himself.
What else is special about the Mikolenko transition?
Everton football club have spent nearly £600m on transfers over the past six years, down from just two last summer. All because of the football league’s strict rules: financial losses over the past three seasons should not exceed 105 million. Everton have already accumulated about 265 million pounds.