Everton have confirmed the signing of Ukraine left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko from Dynamo Kiev.
The highly-rated 22-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract at Goodison Park and becomes the Toffees’ first signing of the January transfer window.
Speaking about the move Mykolenko said:
“Moving to Everton is a big and important step in my life.
“I have always dreamed of playing in the Premier League. English football is where the game was born and I think that it will suit my game very well.
“I am 22 but I don’t feel like a youngster. I have experience of playing at European level and hope I will continue to improve as a player.
“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 fee is officially undisclosed, though media reports suggest it is in the region of £18m.
It’s yet to be confirmed, but Mykolenko is unlikely to have been registered in time to play against Brighton on Sunday, but could make his debut in the FA Cup tie at Hull next week.
Everton are able to afford the fee despite their financial issues because it will be spread over the length of his contract.
The big question however is whether Mykolenko is here as back-up to Lucas Digne or to directly replace him.
The Frenchman has not featured since the Merseyside derby defeat on December 1 following a reported falling out with Benitez.
That has sparked speculation suggesting Digne will be sold in January, with the proceeds used to strengthen the squad elsewhere.