Aston Villa’s Lucas Digne takes aim at former manager Rafael Benitez

Former Barcelona left-back Lucas Digne looked as if he had found a home when he moved to Everton from the Catalan club, until he crossed paths with Rafael Benitez that is.

The French full-back never succeeded in wrestling many minutes away from Jordi Alba, who still rules the roost on the left side of Barcelona’s defence. Leaving Barca for Everton for just over €20m in 2017, he had been a fixture on Merseyside since.

In December however, Digne ceased to play and ended up moving to Aston Villa over his lack of minutes. Speaking to L’Equipe in a story carried by Sport, Digne was honest about the end of his time in Liverpool.

“The relationship we had was not good. It was difficult being excluded from the group for a month. It was something I hadn’t experienced before in my career.”

“I kept working at the side, to make sure I was behind my teammates. He never said I couldn’t play. His statements about me wanting to leave? It was a way of protecting himself. I never asked for that. The people that know me at the club know that everything was going well.”

He did deny ever having had an actual altercation with Benitez, despite the cold treatment.

“No, and that didn’t annoy me. It never happened. I know where my place is, my feelings and those of the dressing room. The group was unanimous. The rest of the players backed me up and then he was sacked for the bad results.”

“I also think he had a bad philosophy. It didn’t fit at Everton,” added Digne.

Benitez is out of work at the moment and despite a long and illustrious career, looks short of options at the top level now. His last job in Spain and the only one since winning a historic title with Valencia was with Real Madrid. His methods there also frustrated players and he was replaced by Zinedine Zidane after six months in the job.

Tags Barcelona Lucas Digne Rafa Benitez Valencia
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