Transfer News: Lucas Digne could leave Everton due to his problematic relationship with Rafa Benitez
According to transfer news on The Athletic (Subscription Required), Lucas Digne could depart Everton due to his tense relationship with Rafa Benitez. The full-back was a vital part of Carlo Ancelotti’s side but has fallen down the pecking order for the new Spanish boss.
Digne started his career in France with Lille. He was eventually signed by cash-rich Paris Saint-Germain. However, after a lack of minutes in the French capital, he decided to join Barcelona. He failed to nail down a starting spot at the Nou Camp, and Marcel Brands convinced the Frenchman to join Everton in 2018.
Could Digne now depart Goodison Park? Should Rafa Benitez offload him due to their tense relationship?
Everton cannot afford to lose Lucas Digne anytime soon
Since joining in 2018, the 28-year-old has been a crucial part of the Merseyside club. He performed well under Marco Silva, but his performances increased a level under Carlo Ancelotti. Last season, he delivered 7 assists in 30 league appearances as the Toffees missed out on the European spots by just three points.
Digne has been a regular under Benitez as well but his output has reduced. He is yet to contribute tangibly in attack in a single league game, despite featuring thirteen times. He was recently dropped by the Spaniard in the heroic victory against Arsenal and his relationship with the manager is thought to be deteriorating.
However, Everton cannot let this be the reason to lose the defender. The Frenchman was their set-piece taker last season and created a bucket load of chances. The presence of Dominic Calvert Lewin and Richarlison ensures that these chances meet able finishers in the box. The full-back was widely credited for this as he was also defensively resolute at the same time.
To put his importance into perspective, he was their chief creator last season, as he had more assists (7) than any other Everton player in the league. To top that off, he did not even play the entire 38 league games to do so. Thus, losing him now, when the side is going through a creative block would be disastrous.
Selling Lucas Digne could cost Rafa Benitez his job
Everton produced a marvellous performance in the second half against Arsenal to win all three points. However, they cannot play like this for the rest of the season. There was a lot of hype when Benitez took over the hot-seat at Goodison Park, but five victories out of fifteen league games is evidence enough that things are yet to take off.
He has had to cope with injuries, but that is just part of the problem. Digne is one of his best players, and if he does not integrate him into his system, it is no good for the Toffees. Ben Godfrey could be a good defensive option, but he provides very little going forward. Their depth in this area is extremely thin.
Thus, offloading the French international could see Everton’s form turn from bad to worse. They are 12th on the league table but are closer to the relegation zone than the Top 4. Marcel Brands has already left the club and Farhad Moshiri could take a decision on Benitez too if the results do not change any time soon.
- Newcastle United interested in signing Stoke City star Tyrese Campbell in January
- Leicester City plotting January moves for Juventus duo Adrien Rabiot and Federico Bernardeschi
- Hugo Lloris could sign a new contract at Tottenham Hotspur
Hence, despite a fractious relationship, Benitez should mend the fences and incorporate the left-back into his side. Unless the men in blue can sign a replacement that can immediately replicate his talents and abilities, Everton need to convince Digne to stay put for the rest of the season.