From PSG in 2013, to Roma, to Barcelona and finally to Everton. Let’s be honest, Lucas Digne has left the best until last in his journey of being a professional footballer.
The Frenchman has been a revelation for us since joining from the Camp Nou last summer, and has nailed down the starting left-back slot ahead of Leighton Baines. At 25, he’s approaching the peak years of his career, and it’s a testament to his performances this season that reports in France have linked Tottenham with a big-money move.
But if we’re supposed to keep moving forward as a club, keeping the likes of Digne even in the face of interest from Champions League playing clubs is the kind of statement we need to make.
Having taken a few games to settle into the intensity of the Premer League, Digne was arguably one of the best full-backs in the division. As well as being a solid-enough defender, the France international was at his best when whipping in deliveries, or reaching into the top-drawer for those set-pieces specials. He became one of our most important players in the second-half of the season and developed a fine understanding with the likes of Bernard and Richarlison ahead of him on the left flank.
Valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt, it’s little surprise to see Mauricio Pochettino’s side register their interest in the left-back, particularly with Danny Rose’s future in north London unclear at the moment. Having signed Digne on a five-year deal, and for an incredibly cheap deal in the context of today’s market at £18m, we’re in the box seat when it comes to potential negotiations.
Unless the Frenchman puts in a transfer request and demands a move, we can dictate the terms to Spurs. But ultimately, with Farhad Moshiri, to his credit, willing to put his money in, we’re not in desperate need to be selling our best players anymore.
The fact is, we can keep Digne and still be in the market to sign new players. It doesn’t have to be a case of one or the other like in years gone by. With four goals and five assists in 37 games last season, the 25-year-old showed he was an important part of the way we play under Marco Silva. Selling him now, after just a year, and then having to look for another left-back who may not be a sure-fire improvement on him, would just reek of bad footballing sense.
The ball is in our courts when it comes to Digne’s future. We’ve been bullied before by some of the league’s big-six and eventually given in to their demands. It’s about time we put our foot down and do things our way. And that means keeping Digne at all costs.