The French international has been one of Everton's most consistent performers since joining from Barcelona in 2018 but has really emerged as arguably the best left-back in the Premier League this season.
That has led to rumoured interest from rival clubs, most notably Manchester City, but the Blues are keen to ward off any advances by securing Digne with an extended contract, according to Carlo Ancelotti.
Digne is currently sidelined following ankle surgery but he has been posting videos to social media of the progress he has been making with his rehabilitation, suggesting he could be back sooner than was initially feared.
Reader Comments (42)
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1 Posted 22/12/2020 at 20:16:11
2 Posted 22/12/2020 at 20:17:50
I've sometimes found Digne to be a frustrating player at times with silly fouls in dangerous positions, defensively suspect on stopping crosses too, but brilliant going forward with his crossing ability. Richarlison seems to play a lot better too with Digne on the pitch.
On reflection, I'd say keep him if possible, and let him continue to build the understanding with Richarlison as a potent force on the left.
Once Man City come calling, we might not have a choice; Stones and Lescott basically downed tools once City came calling... Still, different times now, though.
3 Posted 22/12/2020 at 20:25:37
I'll dig around in the couch a bit if that is what is needed. Treat him well and we'll be in a position to help him and our budget 3 or so years into that 5-year contract.
4 Posted 22/12/2020 at 20:35:19
5 Posted 22/12/2020 at 20:39:44
6 Posted 22/12/2020 at 20:42:05
Many have called for more game time from Nkounkou but, although he has done well in the Cup games thus far, his offensive game is much better than his defensive one, so therefore he is a bit of a risk till he gains more experience.
Remembering too, that he has only been with us a matter of weeks, and came basically free, or for a nominal £250k. He does get you off your seat, and shows bags of promise and should be kept for the future, which shouldn't be too far down the line.
As for Ben Godfrey who has also been very good as a deputy in Digne's absence through injury, it must be noted that he is playing out of his natural position, but nevertheless it is very reassuring that he can be called upon with confidence, that he will put a decent shift in when called on.
Being the Devil's Advocate, it is a business and money does dictate decisions at the end of the day, so if those that make these decisions, deem it to benefit us, then it will go ahead.
Having said that, I don't believe apart from the ridiculous sums that have been squandered already, the Club are in a position where they have to recoup their losses by cashing in on one of our best players.
7 Posted 22/12/2020 at 20:44:44
Jeff #2, Godfrey and Nkounkou are both brilliant young prospects, but the former is a true center back, and the latter has played only one top-level league game in his entire life. If they both prove out, they will only make us better, but I don't think either should be figured in at all on Digne's contract decision. And if you're right about somebody like City coming in big for Lucas later, we'll still benefit.
8 Posted 22/12/2020 at 20:45:37
He deserves a new contract. A no-brainier for me!
I'm sure our resolve will be tested for Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin in the summer and this will also be a test of our status as a team going places?!
9 Posted 22/12/2020 at 20:53:48
10 Posted 22/12/2020 at 21:01:50
Digne is consistently one of our best players, he may have some flaws defensively but he is still very good . Offensively he has got to be one of the best crossers of the ball from the left and gets regular assists. His crosses into Calvert-Lewin will be a threat for years to come.
Also, if we can convince Digne to sign, Richarlison may sign an extension too.
11 Posted 22/12/2020 at 21:03:42
12 Posted 22/12/2020 at 21:07:06
Never sell to your closest rivals... 🤔🙃
13 Posted 22/12/2020 at 21:08:43
14 Posted 22/12/2020 at 21:58:51
His quality of delivery from static and moving positions on the park, is an asset to the Everton team when hes playing.
DCL, Richarlison, and the rest of the team need his crosses.
Now for a massive game tomorrow.
15 Posted 22/12/2020 at 22:50:13
17 Posted 22/12/2020 at 23:46:13
We must start to think the best of ourselves. That's a part of our motto.
18 Posted 22/12/2020 at 00:00:05
Which formation does Ancelotti want to play? The present KITAP1 (that he lucked on to) or the more expansive, Digne, Coleman, attacking wingback one he more or less inherited?
What if his aim is a hybrid of the two... hopefully a flexible hybrid... but, with Coleman on his last legs and no obvious replacement (although this might be where Brands comes in), the question might be: What's the point of Digne on his own?
A solution might be to sell Digne and Richarlison while their stock is relatively high – and, with the £100M, well who knows.
Or... we may progress in little steps away from the current 4 centre-halves to a newer 3.5-ish. For any 4 from Hibbert, Neville, Jagielka, Lescott, Distin and Baines, read any 4 from Holgate, Keane, Mina, Branthwaite, Godfrey and Digne. With one expansive side and one more defensive side.
Which then offers the question: Will there be a modern-day Pienaar?. And who, if anyone, will it be?
All depends what is in Ancelotti mind? I think he may tend to the slightly more expansive (not 1-0 vs Chelsea, nor 5-2 vs W Brom) but still tightish, Goldilocks-esque, compromise... KITAP 2 or 3 just to be on the safe side.
19 Posted 23/12/2020 at 00:26:32
I have decided to trust Brands, and I am sure he is very grateful. I have had my doubts, but any scouting department that signs Godfrey deserves full praise and I like the fella's calmness and long-term focus. We need to retain him, he's an Everton man.
The way I look at it, against my impatient instincts, is that Ancelotti & Brands are proper strategists. In the words of that old Guinness advert "They wait". I think they'll hoover up some stuff this season but they're thinking – and are funded – over a longer timescale. Russians keep going.
20 Posted 23/12/2020 at 01:49:29
21 Posted 23/12/2020 at 03:43:25
Holgate Keane Godfrey
Iwobi Doucouré Allan Digne
James or Sigurdsson or Gomes
We also need some striking back-up. Hoping that Kean can fetch us a good wad in the summer...
22 Posted 23/12/2020 at 06:16:36
23 Posted 23/12/2020 at 07:17:57
I think our next signings - right back, defensive midfielder and forward - must bring athleticism and pace to the squad. Having rightly signed more senior players in Allan, Doucouré and James during the summer, it would be good now to buy for potential, as we did with young Godfrey.
We have a tall team – Keane, Mina, Godfrey, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison – but we are still slow generally.
24 Posted 23/12/2020 at 07:57:17
The deal would set us back £45M, I'd imagine, and Norwich are pushing for promotion so it would have to really tempt them. Maehle from Genk (or Gent - can't remember) would also be a good right-back option.
25 Posted 23/12/2020 at 08:14:16
Give him his new deal, and add another quality midfielder and a quality striker with a good ratio of goals per game. Get rid of some lesser quality from the squad, and for me that will give us a chance of at least top six, barring injuries to key players.
26 Posted 23/12/2020 at 08:27:15
I can't see him going anywhere other than into the first team when fit.
27 Posted 23/12/2020 at 08:31:43
Walcott, Tosun, Bolaise, Besic, likely Bernard and possibly one or two more will be gone and their wages (£500k pw) will be off the books so we may have a bit of headroom to start reinvigorating the team with two or three <24-year-old top quality players.
28 Posted 23/12/2020 at 08:35:38
Any chance we could clone the two and have a left-back with Godfrey's defensive ability and athleticism and Digne's ability going forward? Imagine what that man would be worth on today's market.
29 Posted 23/12/2020 at 08:51:07
And to make the Champions League, you need a team full of Champions League quality players.
Aarons, Buendia and Diatta would all be fine additions, I expect. But almost certainly not for January.
We may get a forward in to compensate for the possibly unplanned exit of Kean – and anything we can get for Bernard. In January, I could see a loan for Lemar or purchase of Bouanga.
In terms of the right-back slot, there are lots of good options in this position. Maehle is one of them. I did wonder whether PSG might offer Dagba as part of the Kean deal. He's a bit like Digne was at PSG – not quite first-team material despite being excellent. Would be cheaper than Aarons. One to sort out in summer.
30 Posted 23/12/2020 at 09:18:13
31 Posted 23/12/2020 at 09:29:45
32 Posted 23/12/2020 at 12:37:05
33 Posted 23/12/2020 at 12:59:49
So now for Devil's Advocate: Could Digne's style of play actually hurt this team?
He bombs forward and creates so many chances, but he leaves a gaping hole behind him causing either Allan to cover or the remaining back three to shift. Since Digne has been out, we look more balanced and more solid at the back. It's not as spectacular a brand of football, but is it more effective? Have we been better without him?
I genuinely ask this, it's not a shit-pot stir. And again, for the record, this kid's gold and I'm thrilled we will lock him down.
34 Posted 23/12/2020 at 13:21:51
Every team needs pace at the back, especially a team whose full-backs are always looking to attack, so I'd expect Godfrey to move inside, but at least it's a good problem to have moving forward?
35 Posted 23/12/2020 at 13:24:30
Defensively, we are more solid since Digne's been injured but Calvert-Lewin is living off scraps and we are grinding out results.
We could play Digne further forward on the left wing and Richarlison up top in a two.
But, in all fairness, we need more than one system to be competitive; the Holgate, Keane, Mina and Godfrey against the top teams and flexible against the lesser teams.
36 Posted 23/12/2020 at 13:27:49
He's 27 - his next 5 year deal will be his last probably - we have to keep him.
We are building here – not partially dismantling and never getting beyond the first storey.
Anyone that's as old as I am and can remember a private eye drama from the States called Petrocelli (from the '70s I think) – will recognise what I mean.
Nail him down!
37 Posted 23/12/2020 at 13:41:40
38 Posted 23/12/2020 at 13:53:01
I agree with most of what you say. Everyone is for sale – an Egyptian centre-forward may possibly be moving to Spain?
I don't buy into this thing about goalies commanding such and such a fee, full-backs such and such and so on.
I note that our neighbours have now received the full £142 m for Coutinho according to BBC. Is he £100 m more valuable than Digne? If he wants to go then we should accommodate his wish and demand £80 in return. Why not... it's business!
39 Posted 23/12/2020 at 15:58:29
Personally my feeling is that we need to get in the habit of selling the occasional player at his prime rather than letting them run down their contract with increasing sluggishness. This will go against the grain for many but it is the sort of good business I feel we have to aim at if we are to be sustainable. Sell a few players approaching or almost past their prime and replace with hungry new versions.
Leicester have done this admirably; pocketing huge fees for the likes of Mahrez, Maguire, Drinkwater, Kante, Chilwell and replacing with the likes of Maddison, Tielemans, Fofana, Justin and Ndidi.
If we could sell Digne in another year or two for £45m plus then that could be great business. Of course there are some professionals you want to keep around as long as possible because they keep producing and are great influences (like Vardy at Leicester) but there are a few decent young left backs around out there and if we could get a top fee for Lucas before he hits his 30s it would make sense to me.
40 Posted 23/12/2020 at 16:12:33
Jamie #33, perfectly valid question, and Ian #35, excellent and concise response.
41 Posted 23/12/2020 at 17:16:07
Centre half who made an emergency left back. He was there for many a game until City came looking for a new centre half.
But yes, Digne should be kept. He is worthy of a new deal - and that is pun for anyone who knows French. Kim#30 will get it instantly.
42 Posted 26/12/2020 at 13:02:52
However, £60M he'll be gone to a champions league team and as sad as that would be it would be understandable from both club and player perspective.
Other questions remain of what the manager wants his full-backs to be. Defensive or Attacking. We have stumbled into form by keeping clean sheets and winning a few games playing 2 defensive fullbacks.
The play has been more simple and direct, our centre backs lack of pace and quality less exposed because of it.
Compared to the galloping Seamus and Lucas that are constantly exposed by long diagonal balls. Until the whole defensive unit is more solid, I wouldn't rush to play 2 attacking fullbacks.
43 Posted 06/01/2021 at 16:37:30
Is it coincidence that DCLs opportunities have all, but dried up, since his injury ?
I think there is some foundation, but the teams played differently and adapted with the players available, but in my view weve made less chances, but lets see factually, what the statos can find.
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