There have been stories circulating the internet that several clubs are eyeing up a move for Everton left-back Lucas Digne. So although it would seem an obvious no, should the Blues actually consider selling the French full-back?
Digne has been one of the few unqualified success stories at Everton over the last few seasons since he joined from Barcelona in the summer of 2018.
The French defender is arguably the best attacking full-back in the Premier League and has become a critical plank in the Toffees team.
However, his form dipped considerably earlier this season, as the Toffees struggled under the doomed leadership of Marco Silva.
He seemed to lose interest as the side was going through a difficult period. This indicated that perhaps he was thinking of a move away from Goodison Park. His drop off in form and effort was a little disturbing.
His pace, creativity and technique make him a great offensive outlet on the left flank. Defensively he’s perhaps not the best, but is solid enough for a modern full-back.
Since Ancelotti has arrived, the Frenchman’s form has improved and he does seem to be working much harder than he did when Silva was still in post. And given recent comments, he would appear to be central to Carlo Ancelotti’s plans going forward.
Indeed the Blues boss has said Digne won’t be going anywhere this summer. So this would seem to make the question moot. However, as we know in football, nothing is set in stone.
The club most strongly linked with a move for Digne were Chelsea, who are certainly in need of strengthening at left-back.
The upcoming transfer market is a great unknown still because of the impact of the pandemic. In all probability it’s going to be a much less spectacular spending environment for everyone.
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The Blues are also skating close to the Financial Fair Play ceiling and so will have to measure their spending to avoid falling foul of those rules.
So all that might mean that if Everton want to splash out big on strengthening the team and squad, they might have to consider realising one of their existing prize assets. After all that’s part of the Marcel Brands strategy.
One of those assets would be Digne. Interestingly the Blues have themselves just signed another French left-back, the former Marseille youngster Niels Nkounko just a few days ago.
I’m not suggesting this move was because Digne is on his way out, Nkounko is in all probability a long-term back-up or challenger to his fellow countryman.
But if Leighton Baines signs another one-year contract extension, and that looks very possible, might the club have signed a player who could succeed both him and Digne..?