Everton have suffered a big injury blow ahead of their Premier League encounter with West Ham United on Sunday week after Lucas Digne picked up a hamstring injury on international duty.
The 28-year-old was called up to Didier Deschamps’ France squad for the Nations League finals but will now return to Merseyside after playing no part in their semi-final victory over Belgium.
A club statement read: “Lucas Digne has withdrawn from the France squad due to a minor hamstring injury. The Everton left-back will return to USM Finch Farm to be assessed by the Club’s medical team.
“Digne was on the bench for France’s 3-2 Nations League semi-final victory over Belgium in Turin on Thursday night and will now miss the world champions’ final clash against Spain on Sunday.”
Although the severity of Digne’s injury has not yet been confirmed, it seems likely that he’ll miss the Toffees’ next clash against high-flying West Ham on Sunday 17 October.
If the left-back is deemed unavailable for selection, Everton manager Rafael Benitez will be left feeling gutted at his enforced absence given the defender’s importance to the club. Digne has played every minute of the Merseysiders’ top-flight campaign so far this season, captaining the side in their last three matches.
His magnificent form has played a pivotal part in Everton’s impressive displays of late, with Benitez’s men sitting pretty in fifth position after collecting 14 points from seven games, and his attacking influence is evident in his match average of 1.9 key passes, the joint-highest in the Toffees’ squad.
The visit of the Hammers is set to be one of their toughest tests yet, though, and they’ll be hoping that Digne recovers in time to play some part against the capital club. If he misses out, Everton will be deprived of one of their main attacking outlets and most trusted players.