According to reports from France (via the Yorkshire Evening Post), Steven Gerrard has been dealt a fresh blow ahead of the trip to Elland Road on October 2, with left-back Lucas Digne now having dropped out of the French international squad as a result of a possible stress fracture to his right ankle – something that would rule him out of next month’s fixture against the Whites.
This comes following the news that Digne’s domestic and international teammate, Boubacar Kamara, has also withdrawn from Didier Deschamps’ squad for Les Blues’ fixtures against Austria and Denmark after picking up a possible medial collateral ligament injury in the 1-0 win over Southampton last week – with the midfielder also looking likely to miss the Leeds game.
Considering how important a part of Gerrard’s side Digne has become following his £25m move to Villa Park in January of this year, the fact that the full-back now looks set to be unavailable for the Elland Road clash in 11 days’ time, coupled with the likely absence of Kamara, is sure to come as yet more good news for Jesse Marsch and his side.
Indeed, Digne has started all seven of Villa’s Premier League fixtures so far in 2022/23 – being yet to miss a single minute of football – over which the £22.5m-rated defender has highly impressed, making an average of 2.3 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 2.3 clearances and winning 6.4 duels – at a success rate of 58% – per game.
As such, it is clear to see that Jack Harrison’s job on Leeds’ left flank will be made a great deal easier in the absence of the France international, something that would appear to greatly increase the Whites’ chances of taking all three points from the meeting.
And, with Marsch’s side currently on a run of three games without a win – including a 5-2 battering at Brentford last time out – the 48-year-old manager will be desperate for his team to get back to winning ways upon their return to top-flight football next month, leading us to believe that Digne’s absence, coupled with Kamara’s likely unavailability, will come as a huge boost the American.