There hasn’t been much to get excited about at Everton this year and two journalists, Tony Scott and Greg O’Keeffe, raised a good point that there aren’t many players who have progressed since last year either.
Everton have struggled since the beginning of the season and although a change in manager has brought about a slight improvement, the negatives are still apparent and were well-evidenced in the 4-0 defeat to Chelsea.
The two journalists mentioned above discussed the fact that there have only been a few players who have improved since last year – listing Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate, and Richarlison as examples – which is an indictment against Marco Silva but also the players themselves.
They also singled out Lucas Digne as a player who has declined since the start of 2019/20, and has failed to live up to his mantle of Everton’s Player of the Year, which he won the previous season.
Speaking on the All Together Now Everton Podcast, Scott said:
“Lucas Digne’s gone backwards. He doesn’t instil me with any confidence yet last year I was buzzing. I was saying ‘look what we’ve got here, he’s great’.”
His thoughts were echoed immediately by O’Keeffe who agreed there has been a decline in his performances this season. The fact he hasn’t registered a goal so far, yet scored four in the league last term, highlights his ineffectiveness in attack.
Digne had a hugely impressive debut season in English football, and such was his impressive form that Leighton Baines wasn’t even missed in the starting line-up, which is a big achievement in itself.
He provided great balance on Everton’s left-flank, contributing to the attack when needed but ensuring his defensive responsibilities didn’t wane, average two tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game.
By contrast, the Merseyside outfit have already conceded 41 goals in his 26 league appearances this term, and that shows something is wrong at the back.
Digne has been a regular under both Silva and Carlo Ancelotti, too, so has contributed to the team’s overall decline. It is therefore fair to single him out for his underperformance.
The 4-4-2 that the Italian boss has introduced means the Frenchman may need to adapt slightly, but if he can build up a strong partnership with Gylfi Sigurdsson or rekindle his understanding with Bernard then he could prove a success once more.
In other news, one Everton player has given an update on his feelings during this period of self-isolation…