Why Everton were so desperate to extend Lucas Digne’s contract

Stefan Bienkowski
Why Everton were so desperate to extend Lucas Digne’s contract

Everton fans would have been singing from the rooftops around Merseyside on Wednesday when the club announced that left-back Lucas Digne had signed a new contract that would tie him down to the Premier League side till 2025. 

The former Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona defender made the move to Goodison Park in 2018 and has quickly become nothing short of a revelation in the English top flight. 

Although Digne still had a number of years left on his current deal, his new extension underlines just how important a player he has become for the club and Carlo Ancelotti’s side. 

So why were Everton so keen to make sure their left-back was under contract for as long as possible? 

How good has Digne been for Everton?

After a disappointing 2017/18 campaign that saw the French defender play little more than a bit-part role at Barcelona, Digne made the move to Everton and was quickly thrown into the deep end as a regular starter for the English club. 

In his first season in England, Digne picked up an impressive four goals and five assists in 37 games for Everton. Then, in his following season, Digne improved even further with a goal and eight assists in 39 games as his reputation as a dynamic left-back grew and grew. 

Despite missing much of this season with an ankle injury, Digne has not only continued his impressive form from left back but in many ways he’s gone on to become one of the most potent attacking full-backs in the English top flight. 

The most creative full-backs in the Premier League this season

PlayerAssists per 90
Lucas Digne0.38
Alex Telles0.35
Luke Shaw0.27
Aaron Cresswell0.24
Ben Chilwell0.24

According to data from FootballCritic, Digne currently averages more assists per 90 minutes of Premier League football than any other full back in the division. The Everton defender currently averages 0.38, with Manchester United pair Alex Telles and Luke Shaw just behind him, followed by West Ham defender Aaron Cresswell and Ben Chilwell of Chelsea. 

Remarkably, this means that even though Digne has missed eight of Everton’s 25 Premier League games to date he’s still top of the league’s assists table for full backs in the division. Even though some of the more popular names – such as Liverpool pair Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold – have played more games and average more crosses than the French talent this season. 

Indeed, when we couple this with Digne’s solid defensive performances it’s easy to see why Everton think so highly of their left-back. He may have only cost them around £18 million a few years ago but Digne has quickly progressed into one of the best left-backs in the Premier League and European football.