It was always coming, but now that it’s really happening, the emotions are starting to bubble to the top.
Once Lucas Digne spoke up against the tactics of Everton manager Rafa Benitez, his days at the club were numbered. After all, James Rodriguez had already taken on the new boss and lost in the summer, eventually getting shipped out to Qatar. However, with the Toffees mired in a horrendous run of form, the France international felt he had to speak up during training regarding the manager’s tactics, and immediately became a target of the Spaniard’s wrath.
Digne was immediately and mysteriously dropped from the playing squad despite the Blues desperately hurting for reinforcements. Benitez passed it off as a tactical decision but insiders at the club had already seen the writing on the wall for the fullback. The manager after all has built a reputation for taking on a player or two and driving them out of the club in a bizarre power game ritual in pretty much every stop he’s made before the Toffees.
Today, after undergoing a medical at Aston Villa and with an official announcement forthcoming that the player has been transferred from Everton, Digne wrote an emotional farewell to the club and it’s fans on social media.
(The note below was copied verbatim)
“I have always worked hard to give back to the fans on and off the pitch. I have loved the unity of fans and players. Not only Goodison on a match day but also in everyday life.
“Only one year ago I signed a new contract with the ambition of staying in this club for a long time, giving everything for my club, for the development and project, that I believed in - and for the passionate fans. My dream was helping the club back where it belongs. Wearing the captain’s armband in some matches always made me proud.
“Everything must come to an end. I just did not expect it to end this way.
“What has happened and some things that was said about me in the last month has made me very sad. But I will not enter a war on words with anyone.
“The club don’t deserve that, the fans don’t deserve that - and to be honest, I don’t feel that I deserve that. There are so many good and decent people in and around Everton who want to the best for this club and not only for themself - and to them I can only say from my heart: I wish you the best!
“Thank you, to all you wonderful, proud and passionate true Evertonians. It has been an honour and a true pleasure to play for you, the fans, the people - because a club does not belong to a player or a manager, but to the fans. I will always carry you with me in my heart wherever I go. Sometimes it only takes one person from outside to destroy a beautiful love affair.
“All the best to @everton and Evertonians ”
The second last line there just about sums it all up on how the fullback, one of the best creative players we have had at Everton in the last few years, has been chased out of the club for having the temerity to question a manager’s tactics even while the club wallows around aimlessly.