Lucas Digne has taken a public swipe at Rafa Benitez after Aston Villa, on Thursday, announced the signing of the Everton defender.
Digne joined Everton from Barcelona in 2018 but the full-back has not played since December 1 after falling out with the Everton boss. Benitez revealed last week that the left-back had asked to leave Goodison and Villa have sealed a deal in the region of £23m.
Anwar El Ghazi will move in the opposite direction on a loan deal with an option to buy.
Villa head coach Steven Gerrard told the club’s website: “When Lucas became available we jumped at the opportunity to bring him to the club.
“To sign a player of his pedigree and quality in the January window is a great addition to our squad. And his arrival excites me and everyone associated with Aston Villa.”
But for Digne, 28, who has won league titles in both France and Spain, the move has left a bitter taste in his mouth.
Insigne wrote on Instagram: “Only one year ago I signed a new contract with the ambition of staying in this club for a long time, giving everything for my club, for the development and project, that I believed in – and for the passionate fans.
“My dream was helping the club back where it belongs. Wearing the captain’s armband in some matches always made me proud. Everything must come to an end. I just didn’t expect it to end this way.”
It all came to a head last weekend in Benitez’s pre-match conference for Everton’s FA Cup tie against Hull City.
Digne: I’ll not enter a war of words
He said: “What do you expect a manager to do when a player is thinking of leaving?
“Think of the fans and former players… what would Peter Reid say? If a player comes to the manager and says he doesn’t want to be here?”
But Digne believes the blame lies solely with the Spaniard.
He added: “What has happened and some things that was said about me in the last month has made me very sad. But I’ll not enter a war of words with anyone.
“The club don’t deserve that. The fans don’t deserve that and to be honest, I don’t feel I deserve that … Sometimes it only takes one person from outside to destroy a beautiful love affair.”