Chelsea to take advantage of Benitez’ Lucas Digne fallout?

Chirag Gupta
By Chirag Gupta
7 Min Read

It is no more secret that Everton boss, Rafa Benitez and Lucas Digne have a rift going on, which has led to the Frenchman being dropped. Digne, who is termed as one of the best in his position in the league, has served for the Toffees since 2018 and has been one of the fan favorites with his remarkable performances on the pitch. Many fans even term him as the best player of the squad but the new boss in town  just has some other thoughts.

Rafa in one of his interviews claimed that the French defender is not perfect fit to start for the Everton side as he just wants players who want to fight for the club. The statement made it very clear that the Frenchman and the Everton boss were not at all close to being on the same page. Now, the reports of Everton closing in on the signing of another left back, Vitaliy Mykolenko, just indicates that the future of the French starter is in jeopardy at Merseyside. Even Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Everton are ready to off-load the left back in January if a suitable offer comes on the table.

Why Chelsea?

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Chelsea, just can pounce on this situation and make a move for the French star who has ample Premier League experience. Last month, Chelsea suffered a huge blow to their season as Ben Chilwell suffered an ACL injury, ruling him out for long. Since then, a team known for brewing clean sheets, has not managed to keep a single clean sheet and have conceded 11 goals in the six matches they played without their English full-back.

Marcus Alonso has not been able to fill the boots as Chelsea have been very often caught out on the left side. An experiment to play Saul as the left wing-back also failed drastically and this has left Tuchel worrying, who is keen to stake a claim in the title race. If the defensive woes continue to haunt, Chelsea could be well thrown out of the race by arch-rivals, Manchester City and Liverpool, who have managed well to keep their squad ready for all challenges.

As per recent reports, Ben Chilwell is back on the grass for some light training and can be expected to make a return in mid-January. But, can Tuchel really depend on the Englishman who will be back after such a serious injury to carry his team, considering how much his system relies on the wing-backs? Chilwell will need at least few games to return to full fitness and hope to gain momentum and form over time. This period could really cause Chelsea their title chances and Tuchel will look for options in January to not leave any scope of losing the race.

Fit for Tuchel’s System?

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Both the situations could act as the perfect lock-key system as the demands of one can be fulfilled by the other. Everton should not be worried about the cash as Chelsea have one of the strongest financial systems and also Chelsea will get a Premier League proven player in the ranks, who can start directly for them.

Digne, currently 28, has played over 300 games in the top leagues across Europe and has the Premier League experience to play for any top English side. His assist tally over years just signifies that he could be a very good left wing-back under Tuchel, who can provide the attacking output alongside defensive solidarity. He being an ex-PSG and Barcelona player, has the European experience as well, which he could utilize in Chelsea’s Champions League title defending quest. Additionally, Digne is very good on set-pieces, which makes him a clear Alonso replacement whenever Chelsea needs a left-footed taker. He in fact might be a better option on the set-pieces, adding one more option for Chelsea to score.

He recently has been linked to make a switch to Leicester or Newcastle, but when the European Champions come calling, how can one resist it?

The Problem?

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The problem for the move to go through is the uncertainty when Chilwell returns. Both Chilwell and Lucas have quality to be the first choice and one will be disappointed every time the other is preferred. With World Cup approaching, both have to prove their respective national team managers that they deserve to start in their squads and this could be hampered with the limited game time they both receive. But Marina and Cech might be of different ideology, as for any title winning team, squad depth is important and a bench with quality is necessity. Each other’s presence could in fact lead to better performances by both and indeed benefit Chelsea. The Blues currently have competition in all the positions and thus would be eager to add this up for the left-wing back position as well, as Alonso’s exit could be very eminent in the coming transfer windows.

MUST READ: Injuries and inefficiency: What is going on with Chelsea?

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