Everton shouldn’t let Digne go on the cheap if he leaves

Everton (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) /

There are further rumours that Everton left-back Lucas Digne is heading for the exit door at Goodison Park with Newcastle United and Leicester City the latest alledged suitors.

It does seem very likely that Everton will sell the French international defender next month in the January window as his fallout with Rafa Benitez seems to be a permanent one and there doesn’t appear to be any thawing out of their tense relationship.

And, the stories continue that the Toffees’ are very close to signing Ukrainian full-back Vataliy Mykolenko as a replacement, although a deal still hasn’t been finalised.

I have mixed feelings about this situation. On one hand it’s true that Digne has not been at his best for a long time now and as I’ve said many times, it often appeared as though he is just going through the motions when he was playing for the Blues.

On the other hand, he is a very good footballer, an experienced international and he has often been a key attacking outlet for Everton since he signed in 2018.

Ideally, I would like him to stay on Merseyside and continue to play for the club, perhaps as I’ve suggested as a wing-back or left-sided midfielder where his creative talents could be best utilised.

Given the club’s immensely difficult finanancial situation, the only way to raise sufficient funds for new signigns in next month’s transfer window is to sell one or other of their most prized and highly valued players.

Those players would probably be Jordan Pickford, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Digne.

I would think it extremely unlikely that Pickford or Doucocure would leave or that Benitez would consider selling them, although there have been tentative stories about the England goalkeeper being a possible target for Tottenham.

Meanwhile Richarlison is injured and Calvert-Lewin, also linked with move to north London and Arsenal, has still not come back from his long-term injury.

That leaves Digne as the only player with the sell-on value who also is of course now very probably going to leave the club because his relationship with the manager has broken down.

After the recent bust-up with Benitez the rumour mill went into overdrive and several clubs were linked with a move for the unsettled 28-year-old.

Among them were Juventus and Chelsea and now two other Premier League clubs Newcastle and Leicester have also apparently joined the race to sign Digne.

If the Toffees’ do sell him then they must ensure they get a good fee for him. Digne is a quality player and so the Blues’ shouldn’t let him leave for a fee that doesn’t reflect his value.

That’s easier said than done. The difficulity is that as every other club knows the player has fallen out with his manager and are cash-strapped, it will be harder for Everton to get a high fee that properly reflects his worth.

But, if Everton can get £35-40 million (which is the minimum they should be accepting) then that would give the club a reasonable pot to spend on strengthening the squad.