Everton have made two signings already during this transfer window, with Rafa Benitez not holding back on getting his business at the club done early, but the two incoming additions are not the biggest story at the Merseyside club, with a potential outgoing stealing the headlines.
News Editor, Alan Myers, has taken to Twitter to claim that a number of Premier League clubs are interested in signing Everton’s Lucas Digne.
Tweeting last night he revealed:
“Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham and an as yet unnamed fourth Premier League club, are interested in Everton left back Lucas Digne.”
“Napoli are also interested in the £30M rated defender, though the Italian club are only interested in a loan deal with an option to buy.”
It was reported by ESPN last week, that Everton are not interested in a loan deal for the left-back, which was initially rumoured to be the likeliest scenario for the player to join Chelsea to cover their injury issues in the position short term, but now the report suggests that the Toffees want at least £25m for him, with no option for a loan.
Everton fans will surely be fuming at the prospect of the player going to another Premier League club, especially West Ham and Newcastle who are likely to rival the Merseyside club for positions in the league.
Digne had become a fan favourite at the club, with many supporters taking to social media to criticise the decision to sell the frozen out left-back to another Premier League team.
One Toffees fan tweeted;
“Be fuming if Digne goes to another prem team. Just another reason to hate Rafa #RAFAOUT.”
Indeed, it’s easy to see why they’re so livid. The £110k-per-week defender has made 127 appearances for the club, offering up six goals and 20 assists from his defensive position, becoming a senior member of the team.
Thus, losing his quality and experience at the club when they are in this vulnerable phase, struggling to pick up points with only five wins from 18 games, is a huge risk for Benitez.
The Spanish manager has signed a left-back already over the last few days, Vitaliy Mykolenko has joined from Dynamo Kyiv, but with the lack of Premier League experience and his lack of connection with the defensive line at the Toffees due to only joining the team this week, it shouldn’t be expected for the Ukrainian to make an instant impact.
Everton have no room for error at this point in the season, and disjointing the team by selling key players, puts the manager at potential risk of costing the side more points in the league, only further fuelling fans to turn against him.
In other news: Rafa Benitez interested in Omar Colley switch