By Goodison News speaking to Kevin Campbell

13th May, 2022 | 8:10pm

Kevin Campbell tips Vitalii Mykolenko to be Everton 'star' after what he saw him do

We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…

Everton January signing Vitalii Mykolenko can be “a star” after strong performances and a wonder-goal, says Kevin Campbell.

The Ukrainian left-back was brought in by previous manager Rafael Benitez to replace Lucas Digne, and endured an extremely difficult start to life at Goodison.

But after he volleyed home a beautiful opener in the win at Leicester (8 May) to cap off some much-improved performances, ex-Toffees captain Campbell believes he could even surpass his popular predecessor, and noted it as a rare positive to come from the former boss’ tenure.

Speaking exclusively to Goodison News Campbell said of the improvement: “Yeah, that was Rafa Benitez as well wasn’t it? Rafa Benitez signed him.

“It’s taken him a little bit of time to get himself together, get up to speed. 

“But I tell you what, what a fantastic strike that was, oh my God.

“I call it the paintbrush. The way he just stroked it, he didn’t go to smash it, he just stroked it and it rocketed into the corner. 

“Great ball by [Alex] Iwobi as well to him, picked him out, and he finished it great. 

“I think he’s been one of the pluses this season. 

“But I think he’ll be even better next season. Even better next season for sure.

“[Lucas] Digne had his injury problems and Mykolenko’s got so much growth, there’s opportunities for him to grow at Everton.

“I think he can be a star. I definitely think he can.”

There wasn’t much to remember fondly about former Liverpool manager Benitez’s time on the blue half of Merseyside, and the needless departure of Digne highlighted the lack of planning at the club.

But the young replacement has come into his own of late, despite a combination of factors creating a situation that made it difficult to thrive from the off.

And his goal at the King Power was the just rewards for considerable advances in the last few weeks that have made him a fixture on the left side of the defence.

In other Everton news, Campbell went ballistic over the treatment the manager has received at the hands of the FA.

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