This week just gets better.
Everton defender Lucas Digne has signed a new four-and-a-half year contract at the club.
The France international is now committed to the Toffees until the summer of 2025.
The deal completes a hat-trick of good news for the Toffees this week, following on from that famous win at Anfield and planning permission being granted for the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dick.
Speaking about the deal, Digne told the club’s website:
“The fans made me feel at home from the beginning, they showed me big love and created a song for me.
“It is something I really appreciate and it is very important for me to keep the stability.
“We have a big project with the club and can reach something very good at the end of this season and for the next few years.
“I want to play in Europe and Everton is the best place to do that.”
The 27-year-old moved to Goodison Park in the summer of 2018 for an initial £18m from Barcelona.
Brought in as the potential long-term replacement for Leighton Baines, he had huge shoes to fill given Baines’ sterling service to the club over the previous decade.
We needn’t have worried.
Digne has proved a more than worthy successor to Baines, winning the Player of the Season and sharing Players’ Player of the Season in his first year at the club.
He has made 97 appearances for the club so far, scoring five goals and contributing 19 assists, developing into one of the best attacking full-backs in the Premier League.
To convince a player who has already represented the likes of PSG and Barcelona to commit his prime years to the club is hugely significant and shows the scale of Everton’s progress and future ambition.
Digne agrees and is optimistic for the future:
“I have seen the progress every year since joining the club, we are building a strong team.
“When you sign for Everton, it is like an amazing wedding.
“You just have to do your best every day to show Evertonians the love you have for them. That is what I do.
“I want to show them what they give me and it is just amazing. It was clear in my mind that I want to continue with Everton.
“The stadium plans look amazing. I can’t imagine the noise it would create after Goodison.
“It is all pushing us on the pitch to be better and to be in Europe.
“I play in the best league and I want to play in the best cup in Europe [Champions League], for sure.
“And I want to do that with Everton.”
Digne’s deal means Everton have signed up all their key first-team players until at least 2023.
The Toffees have an option to extend James Rodriguez’s contract by one year when it expires in 2022. Seamus Coleman, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fabian Delph and Bernard are also out of contract in 18 months.
Of those, only Coleman and possibly Sigurdsson are likely to be offered fresh terms, with Bernard expected to be moved on this summer while Delph has not done enough to earn an extended stay at Goodison.
Then there is the future of director of football Marcel Brands. The Dutchman’s current deal expires this summer but he is believed to be close to agreeing a new contract.