Defender valued by Everton fans given welcome France assurances

Date published: Saturday 20th March 2021 2:54 - Neil Foster

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France manager Didier Deschamps feels Lucas Digne is an underrated player and stressed that a lack of exposure playing for Everton will not be a barrier to international recognition.

Digne, 27, moved to Goodison Park from Barcelona in the summer of 2018. He had a tough task to follow Leighton Baines at left-back but has been a revelation in the role.

The former Paris Saint-Germain defender has made 90 Premier League appearances and 115 in all competitions. He has bagged five goals and 19 assists from the flank and shone in a struggling side.

The Toffees have made strides under Carlo Ancelotti this term and sit seventh in the top-flight standings. They have a chance of finishing in the top four but face stiff competition during the run-in.

Digne will no doubt play his part having started 20 league games in 2020-2021. But there is a sense that the former Roma loan star flies under the radar with the Merseysiders.

He has made 35 appearances for France and will hope to be in Les Bleus’ squad for the delayed Euro 2020. Deschamps will be trying to work out the right combinations of players during the international break.

The former Chelsea star is blessed with many options at full-back. But he will not discriminate against any player just because their name is not shouted from the rooftops.

“In that role there is a lot of competition; no player will be favoured just for playing in a club with great media attention,” he told reporters (via Sport Witness).

“It would not be fair to penalise Lucas Digne, who is doing great things with us and with his club, for this reason.”

Digne a value signing

Digne won a combined 12 trophies while at PSG and Barcelona. But he certainly seemed undervalued at the Nou Camp and struggled for game time while at the club.

He made only eight league starts during his final campaign with the Catalans. And his form for Everton proves that Barca missed the boat with the man from the Paris suburbs.

The ex-Lille star is very much in the running to be part of Deschamps’s squad this summer. And the manager regrets that he does not receive the plaudits his talent deserves.

“Lucas plays for Everton today, so not really in the spotlight, and many underestimate him,” he added. “It’s not fair; I’m very sorry for that.”

 

READ MORE: Pundit urges Ancelotti to give winter signing a run

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