Lucas Digne at Aston Villa: Stats that show why Steven Gerrard moved for Everton left-back | Football news
Aston Villa are in advanced talks to sign Everton left-back Lucas Digne – but what will the France international bring to Steven Gerrard’s side?
Digne’s fallout with Rafael Benitez has darkened what appear to be his final weeks with the club, but over the past three and a half seasons he has been a key player for Everton.
Since arriving in 2018, he has recorded more assists than any other Everton player and paved the way for his team in assists and chances created last season.
Everton have signed 22-year-old Vitaliy Mykolenko as a replacement and although the Ukraine international has Champions League experience and played the Euro last summer, he clearly cannot match the quality and experience. of Digne at the moment.
Digne, after all, has over 40 caps for France and has won titles with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
It will be his exciting creative stats for Aston Villa fans, however. At 28, Digne is at his peak and at a level where his offensive production ranks among the best of the Premier League full-backs.
Since the start of last season, only Liverpool pair Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have created sharper chances among Premier League defenders.
Without the ball, Digne is not as strong – he ranks 46th among Premier League defenders since the start of last season for winning possession. Alexander-Arnold is at the top of that metric, so there is no excuse for Digne and this is an area he will be looking to improve on.
But with the ball at his feet, whether on set pieces or in open play, the quality of his performance is a real asset. Aston Villa are currently fourth in the Premier League this season in goals created from crosses, and Digne will strengthen them further in this department.
At Villa, he will fight with Matt Targett for the left-back position. Targett is a few years younger than Digne and has been a reliable performer for Villa.
He played every Premier League game for them last season and also won the Players Player of the Season award, highlighting how well regarded he is at Villa Park.
Digne overtakes him in some key stats for full-backs this season, including tackles by 90 minutes, but Villa’s decision for the Frenchman is not due to some sort of left-back crisis, but rather part of it. of Gerrard’s plan to create a competition for places just across the field.
Villa have spent a lot of money this summer to increase their options and the movements of Philippe Coutinho and Digne early in this transfer window are further signs of the club’s intention to start and move up the ranks.