Everton defender Lucas Digne is the best left-back in the Premier League, according to his agent Mikkel Beck and his manager Marco Silva.
Digne, 25, is one of the favourites to win Everton’s player of the year this season, having made a seamless transition to the Premier League following his £18 million move from Barcelona in July.
“When you see the stats for this season then it shows you he is the best left-back in the Premier League this season,” said Beck.
“He has shown everything. He gives his team defensive reassurance and offensively he is like an attacker. His crosses are second to none and the amount of chances he creates for the team.”
Beck, who himself played in the Premier League for Middlesbrough and Derby County in the late 1990s, said he explained to Digne the lure of English football when Everton came calling last summer.
While he admits that it was a tough decision for the Frenchman to leave Barcelona, he believes Digne has done more than enough to justify making his move. He added:
“He could either chose to go to Everton or stay at the club of his dreams. It was a big, big decision but he has never looked back. He knew about Everton’s interest but he could have stayed with Barcelona, it was very much in our minds.
“He had played 46 times in two seasons and to play that many games for the biggest club in the world is very, very good, but we always take interest seriously.
“He realised the same things that I realised when I came to England and what all foreigners realise when coming to the country – it’s end to end stuff. There are no pauses in the game.
“I had already told Lucas what football in England was all about and after his first game I remember him telling me that it was end to end and that it was full on.
“But he has played for the biggest clubs in the world so he was ready for anything.”
Beck also told of just how important Silva was in convincing Digne to move to Goodison Park last summer.
He said how impressed he and Digne were by just how keen Everton were to sign him, and how welcome they made the player feel on Merseyside:
“He always wants to talk to the manager before going any further in his decision and that chat with Marco Silva made him feel very, very comfortable and welcome and that Everton would be the next step for him. I know he has talked a lot about that chat.
“Everton also really fought for him. Negotiations with Barcelona were really difficult but Lucas felt, all in all, that here was a club, in one of the leagues he would like to play in, that was really fighting for him.”
Silva, meanwhile, in his own interview with the Echo, agreed with Beck’s belief that his left-back is the best in the Premier League.
The Blues manager coached Liverpool’s own left-back Andrew Robertson while both were at Hull City in 2017, and while the Scot has more assists than any other in his position in the league this term, Silva feels Digne still edges him overall.
“He is one of the best, I don’t have doubts about that. He is proving that. I do not have all the names in my mind at the moment but Lucas has stayed there with the best.
“If he is the best one.... always I will push for my players but Lucas is there in the top list of the best left-backs.
“Robertson is a very good one also. He is a fantastic boy, a fantastic professional. He is our rival but he deserves everything he is achieving in his career but Lucas is Lucas, and Lucas, for me, is the best one because he is our player and playing in our blue shirt.
”We are really happy with him, he is enjoying his football and our fans love him and he has been everything we expected when we signed a player such as him.”