Full-back. The one area of the pitch that we could all be in agreement could do with a significant upgrade. The likes of Kieran Trippier and Serge Aurier have been poor, to say the least, this season, whilst on the opposite flank, Danny Rose and Ben Davies haven’t exactly set the world alight either.
Recent reports have suggested that we’re looking at Everton’s Lucas Digne to upgrade the weak link posed by the England and Welsh pair, and if that’s the case, then we could be signing one of the best left-backs in the league.
Rose’s frustratingly inconsistent performances this season haven’t helped his cause, and while once upon a time he would have been thought as a key part of our side, that no longer remains the case. The 28-year-old has even been publicly open about wanting to move back north, and including him in a deal to sign Digne could suit all parties.
Indeed, such has been our long-standing interest in the Everton defender, that the report further claims Mauricio Pochettino wanted him in North London last summer when he was still at Barcelona, but our apparent lack of funds thwarted his attempts to do so.
Perhaps it all worked out for the best, though. Digne had fallen out of favour at the Catalan giants, and taking him to the more physically demanding Premier League could have come as a culture shock. But he settled in quickly at Goodison Park, and the risk of him signing for us twelve-months later than we had originally planned means it’s far more of a sensible move now.
In his time on Merseyside, Digne has shown he can be defensively solid, but it’s his threat going forward that makes him a potentially great signing. In his 37 appearances across all competitions, he picked up four goals and five assists, and was a constant set-piece threat with his wand of a left foot.
Such were his performances in his debut campaign for the Blues, the Toffees voted him their Player of the Year.
With claims that Everton could be holding out for more than double the £18m they paid for him last year, including Rose in the negotiations to sweeten the deal and bring that price down would be a shrewd move on our part.
It would get a player on significant wages off the books, and help facilitate a move for someone considerably better. A win-win situation for all.