Lucas Digne’s sale to Aston Villa was made official yesterday. The deal came to £23M with add ons possibly taking it to £25M. This sale has caused quite a stir on Everton’s online communities. As usual there are some very odd tweets with many now deciding that Lucas Digne was never a good player. Not only has Lucas Digne been Everton’s highest average performing player since his arrival in 2018, featuring in the WhoScored.com team of the year twice but he has been an extremely able Leighton Baines replacement. His sale may not be the end of the world, but the manner of it is extremely disappointing and highlights many of the issues within the club at the moment.
This sale comes off the back of a bust-up between Digne and Benitez, allegedly Digne voiced his displeasure at the tactics being used as he felt restricted by his defensive role. The stats back this up, Digne has been Everton’s top assist maker with 7 in the past 2 seasons, this season despite his reserved role he has been the 5th best chance creator but is yet to register an assist. Anyone who has watched Everton this season will agree that football has been dire, Digne was voicing all of our concerns and it has led to him leaving the club.
What makes the sale worse is how much it strengthens Aston Villa, a team one place above Everton at the moment. Their weakest position over the past few seasons has probably been left-back, whilst Matt Targett is solid, Digne gives them creativity from wide which they were lacking. It seems that he has gone to a project that is unfortunately much more coherent and is playing exciting, attacking football that has so far generated better results. It will be a tough day for Everton fans on the 22nd January, when Gerrard, Benitez and Digne turn up at Goodison together. We can only hope he is as bad as some will have you believe that day. Either way, strengthening rivals
Some may say that we have strengthened well to deal with the loss, however same issues remain, Mykolenko is the squads only left back. Godfrey needs to be used in a consistent position for his development, if Mykolenko gets injured he will likely be shifted out to the left yet again, where whilst he can be effective is waste and a hinderance to his development. Mykolenko is also only 22 years old, he has no Premier League experience and now has the pressure of being relied upon by the whole club. Not an easy start to his Everton career.
Lastly, this transfer saga has demonstrated the poor way that the club is being run and the lack of any clear ideas. Lets get it right, Digne wanted to play for the club, but not the manager. Hence why he signed a new deal only last year. This is a manager who has won 6 points out of the last 42 and should not have the credit in the bank to sell one of the squads most important players due to a personal grievance. The situation at Everton needs a clear strategy, something that seems to be far away at the moment. Hopefully, this will become clear soon but until then we need to hope that young Mykolenko is already the answer.
“Sometimes it takes one person to ruin a beautiful love affair” Lucas Digne.