In a press conference this morning Rafa Benitez caused a storm on Twitter by addressing the ongoing Lucas Digne situation. Digne hasn’t played since December 1st against Liverpool after being frozen out following an argument with the manager, allegedly about playing styles. Today Benitez revealed that Digne told him he “doesn’t want to be here”.
He added that Digne’s desire to leave was “very clear”, adding: “I want to ask a question to every fan or former player. What would you say to a player who doesn’t want to be there?
“It is simple. I had a couple of conversations with him, he told me what he thought.”
Benitez is looking to “create a winning mentality” at Everton and said “you need players that really want to be here”.
“Do we want to try and grow and improve?” he continued. “Or just to manage the egos and then leave the team behind, depending on the egos?”
It is unclear whether Lucas Digne’s desire to leave came before or after the spat, however it seems unlikely that the desire can at all be separated from his issues with the manager. Particularly given that he only recently signed a five-year contract and stated after the incident that the team came first in an Instagram story. Nevertheless, his departure is a foregone conclusion, the only question being; where will he end up?
In other news Benitez confirmed that Dominic Calvert-Lewin is unavailable for Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Hull having not returned to full team training since last weekend’s loss to Brighton & Hove Albion. Richarlison, Yerry Mina, Andros Townsend and Tom Davies are all also unavailable. An opportunity for the likes of Lewis Dobbin perhaps?