Everton boss Rafa Benitez has provided a positive update on the fitness of left-back Lucas Digne, suggesting that the Frenchman is ‘training well’ on his road to recovery.
The 27-year-old suffered a thigh muscle injury during France’s miserable Euro 2020 campaign. National team coach Didier Deschamps described the injury as ‘very complicated’, sparking fears that the defender could miss the start of the new season.
But Benitez offered some encouraging updates on Digne’s fitness following Everton’s 1-0 victory over Blackburn on Saturday, stating that the Frenchman is ‘training well’, and will be back to help his teammates ‘as soon as possible.’
“I had contact with him [on Wednesday morning], he is training well, doing his job and ready to join the team as soon as possible,” said the Everton boss.
“He is a great professional and I know he is working hard.
“My exchange of messages with him has been good because he is telling me he is nearly ready.”
Digne is a crucial figure in the Everton team, and supporters will be hoping to see him back in the starting lineup at the beginning of the new season. He featured 30 times in the Premier League last year, missing only a handful of matches with an ankle injury over the Christmas period.
Another key figure who is missing Everton’s pre-season is Richarlison, who has travelled to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics. Benitez said he has spoken to the Brazilian, and is hoping the forward will repay the club next season for allowing him to take part in the competition.
“I was in contact with him, he had the Olympic Games in the back of his head, we needed to sort out his situation and he is fine,” Benitez said.
“He is happy because he can go there…and he knows he has to give us something back because we were supporting him.
“That [not being involved at start of season] could be something we can consider not great in the beginning but will be a massive boost for us in the rest of the season because he will try to deliver.”