By Beck Pascal

14th Jan, 2022 | 9:40pm

Vitaliy Mykolenko has opened up on the 'pressure' he feels at Everton

Vitaliy Mykolenko has opened up on the ‘pressure’ he feels already during his short time at Everton. 

The 22-year-old came in as a replacement for Lucas Digne amid the Frenchman forcing a move away from Goodison Park. 

Now the Toffees only recognised left back, the Ukrainian has started to feel the weight of the task in replacing the former fans favourite. 

“It is a massive responsibility and I totally, totally feel it,” Mykolenko told The Telegraph.

“Everton are left with one left back and it is all down to me, my performance, and my resilience to show that I am worthy and I am totally focused on playing my role and will play to the best of my ability.

“I have a massive motivation to play and replace a popular player. The main thing for me is to pull on the Everton shirt and the pressure I am experiencing I think is good for me. It makes me a better player, it makes me more resilient and more crafty on the pitch.”

No surprise 

Pressure is expected when such a young player makes the biggest move of his career so far. Coming to England and the Premier League tests the best of players but the circumstance in which Mykolenko was brought in only worsens that burden. 

Straight away he is the Blues number one left-back. No time to adjust, no back up, just thrown into the action – very daunting for the youngster when you put it like that. 

He has big shoes to fill as well. Digne was a fan favourite during his time at Goodison Park and rightly so. The numbers he put in in terms of attacking output were brilliant and he was a big influence on this Everton team. 

Despite being thrown in at the deep end, Mykolenko is a player for the future of the club. Yes, he has come in to do a job now, but he represents a new era at the club along with his other new full back partner, Nathan Patterson. 

The fans need to be patient with all of our new players, especially the younger ones as confidence is key in football and without it, their Everton careers could be over before they’ve even taken off. 

In other Toffees news, Everton ace Richarlison left out of Brazil World Cup 2022 qualifying squad.