Everton welcome Premier League leaders Manchester City to Goodison Park on late Saturday afternoon, hoping to bounce back from their very disappointing 2-0 defeat to Southampton last time out.
Frank Lampard’s side have picked up just the one win in their past eight top-flight games, and it’s a run of form that has dragged them into the midst of a relegation battle for the second-half of this season.
The Toffees have been dogged by injuries and illnesses, but one of those returnees, Vitaliy Mykolenko, must surely be in line for a comeback against City this weekend.
The Ukraine international only arrived in the January transfer window, but has been unable to make much of an impact thus far, making just one sole appearance in the Premier League against Norwich.
In his absence, Jonjoe Kenny has recently stepped up for Lampard to play as a right-footed left-back, but with City’s devastating attack, Mykolenko must come into the line-up.
Speaking after his arrival, he said: “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. I hope it won’t take me too long to settle in and get used to the style of football.”
As per Whoscored, Mykolenko has been a particularly impressive performer in recent years in European competitions, both in the Champions League and Europa League for former club Dynamo Kyiv.
He has a career average of 1.8 interceptions and 2.2 tackles per game, with the latter number actually good enough to rank him top among the entire Everton squad this season in the Premier League.
If Lampard is looking to breathe some fresh air into his team, then finally bringing Mykolenko into the fold after his recent absence would surely give the club and the fans a welcome shot in the arm.
The £12.5m-rated star would add some much-needed quality to this struggling Everton side.