Everton recently saw Lucas Digne leave Goodison Park in a deal worth up to £25m.
In the wake of the deal, it has been revealed that there were problems behind the scenes between him and manager Rafael Benitez. The fallout saw the Frenchman suddenly being left out of the squad on matchdays by Benitez since mid-December, with Digne making clear of his desire to move on.
It appears that both parties have now moved on as Digne swiftly sealed a move to Aston Villa earlier this week, and now it has emerged just how the disagreements between the full-back and the Toffees boss may have come about.
Was it a mistake to let Digne go?
Talking to The Transfer Show on Sky Sports News, journalist Kaveh Solhekol referenced what a source of his had told him: “Somebody told me that the problems started, or one of the issues was that Rafa Benitez took him off set-piece duties. He’d been used to taking all the set pieces at Everton and then Rafa Benitez said no, Andros Townsend is going to take them from now on.
“That’s not confirmed, that’s just something that one person told me.”
TIF Thoughts on the fallout…
Benitez was quick to act in January, bringing in Vitalii Mykolenko from Dynamo Kyiv pretty sharpish. If the Spaniard feels he is an improvement on Digne, then you can’t argue with his work.
Also, if the suggestions are true and Digne was annoyed at being taken off set-piece duties, then that is extremely petty. He was clearly important to Everton as he made 15 appearances this season before leaving the club.
If he has decided to leave after such a trivial detail, then maybe Everton have dodged a bullet. However, perhaps it would be best to judge this whole affair at the end of the season when the dust has settled and the impact of Digne’s departure becomes clear.
In other news: Julien Laurens drops Benitez claim