Transfer News: Chelsea hesitant to meet valuation of Everton left-back Lucas Digne
According to Alex Crook of talkSPORT (h/t The Mirror), Chelsea are hesitant to meet the valuation for the potential transfer of Everton left-back Lucas Digne. He looks set to leave Goodison Park after Rafael Benitez has confirmed that he wants to move elsewhere.
The Toffees have named a price tag of £30 million for getting the services of the 28-year-old. The Blues have been linked with a move, but they are not the only Premier League club that is vying to sign him in the future. West Ham United and Aston Villa are also keeping tabs on the situation, and they would pose a threat to Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Newcastle United are another team that has shown an interest in Digne, but he has doubts over the prospect of moving to St. James’ Park. They are currently engaged in a relegation battle, meaning they could drop down to the Championship if there is no change from the current circumstances.
We desperately need an addition in the left-back position as Ben Chilwell is expected to miss the rest of the campaign. Marcos Alonso cannot be the only option for us moving forward since it could possibly ruin our chances of having a great season given his lack of consistency this campaign, and the prospect of having no backup for him down that side.
The Frenchman has experience in the English top-flight, which is always a bonus since it would help him adapt to the environment at Stamford Bridge in case of a potential transfer. He has also been solid for the Merseyside club since leaving Barcelona in 2018. He has made 127 appearances across all competitions while netting six times and providing 20 assists since then.
It is not common for price tags to be somewhat bloated in January given the buying club’s desperation to plug a hole in their team mid-season, and the selling club’s knowledge of it coupled with their potential unwillingness to lose a key player at such a time during the campaign. But the situation surrounding the Toffees fullback is different since he has had a falling out with Rafa Benitez and was subsequently left out in the recent fixtures.
There is no doubt that our need for a left wing-back is widely known now. Much of our attacks go through our flying full-backs and Tuchel would surely want Chilwell to be replaced in the team, even if it is for the short term, by a competent player. Perhaps playing Lewis Hall against Chesterfield was a way for us to show that we may not be as desperate for a player in that position as we are thought to be.
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West Ham, Villa, and Newcastle are potential roadblocks for us. Digne, given his quality, could be first-team players for the long run at the aforementioned clubs, while at Chelsea, he would have to compete with Chilwell once the Englishman returns from injury.
We have to be wary that we are not being taken advantage of in the market due to our apparent desperation. Digne’s fallout at Goodison Park should have made things easier for us if we were the sole team after his services, but we must now be on our heels to beat competition from other English clubs. If we have to pay a bit extra, then so be it, but this could be a signing that salvages our season.
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