Aston Villa: Bardell gives assement on ‘culpable’ Digne
The Athletic and Sky Sports contributor Dan Bardell has given his assessment on the ‘defensive naivety’ of Aston Villa full-back Lucas Digne.
The Lowdown: Replacement for Digne?
Digne joined Villa in January of last year from fellow Premier League side Everton for £25 million.
The Frenchman was known to pick up a number of assists while he was at the Toffees. In his first season with the Villans, he notched four, though he’s yet to produce one this season. However, he did score against Manchester United in the league.
Even so, Unai Emery could already have found his replacement, having signed left-back Alex Moreno from Real Betis for £12.5m last month.
The Latest: Bardell’s Digne comments
Bardell believes that Digne hasn’t been worth the money that was spent on him and hasn’t been able to shine since making the move to Villa Park when talking on The Villa View.
He stated: “I think questions are starting to emerge for him. He had a decent spell towards the back end of last season where he got a few assists and was involved in couple of goals.
“But overall, what we paid for him, Villa haven’t had a return on their investment at all, and the fact that we have had to bring in another left-back probably tells you everything that you need to know.
“There’s a better player in there somewhere, but Villa haven’t unlocked it at the moment for that fee. I would say Everton have had our pants down. I just don’t think he’s contributing enough either way.
“You could almost forgive the defensive sloppiness if he was providing assists and was a constant outlet out wide.
“He’s not impacting the game going forward at all and he’s culpable at times, I think, for a bit of defensive naivety positioning-wise, for me.”
The Verdict: Set for the chop
We believe that time is running out for Digne and his career at Villa Park. Emery will likely be shaping his own vision for the club and the signs are that the Frenchman isn’t in those plans.
Since their 2-0 victory in the Premier League against Spurs, the full-back’s minutes have gradually diminished over time and that coincides with the arrival of Moreno.
The 29-year-old missed their recent game with Southampton due to injury, so that certainly wouldn’t have helped his case.
Since taking charge, Emery has received praise from ex-Villa man Nigel Reo-Coker, who praised the ‘organisation’ so early on in his tenure when talking to Five Live (via Villa News).
Emery didn’t go all out on transfer last month, bringing in a couple of new additions. We wouldn’t’ be surprised if Villa looked to bring in a number of new faces in the summer, football finance expert Kieran Maguire certainly believes that the club has plenty of money to play with.
Should they do so, it could mean good news for Villa on the quality front, Emery boasts a wonderful CV where he’s managed a number of top clubs including Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain.
A number of players might be enticed at the prospect of playing for Villa when the summer window opens, this could force Emery to sell the likes of Digne, players that he doesn’t see in his long-term plans.