Chelsea

TT Battle: Lucas Digne vs Emerson

When Chelsea take on Everton just before the international break, plenty of supporters will be desperate for Maurizio Sarri to continue using the full depth of his squad.

In recent weeks, the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Emerson have been getting more game time compared to the start of the season with the latter now pushing for a regular spot in the Blues’ starting XI.

As for Everton, Marco Silva undoubtedly knows who his first-choice left-back is with Lucas Digne being one of the Merseyside club’s more consistent performers this term.

With that in mind, how do the two defenders compare?

Lucas Digne

Out of all of Everton’s signings from last summer, Digne has probably been the biggest surprise — and in a good way.

Much excitement and expectation surrounded the arrivals of Richarlison and Andre Gomes with both players having certainly enjoyed good moments during the campaign, but it has been Digne who has really stamped his authority on the team.

The 25-year-old has been a mainstay in Silva’s starting XI after an array of impressive performances as an attacking left-back.

Like the man who he appears to have succeeded, Leighton Baines, Digne gives Everton another outlet out wide when he bombs down the left flank.

After doing so, the France international has the delivery to put a dangerous ball into the box and cause havoc to opposition centre-halves.

TT Grade: B+

Emerson

Since arriving at Chelsea last year, Emerson has not been able to make the sort of impact that Digne has made with both Antonio Conte and Sarri preferring Marcos Alonso.

However, with the Spaniard struggling for form, Emerson has featured much more often of late, taking his chance.

Against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final, he was excellent. The 24-year-old won most of his individual duels on the day while also making himself useful during attacks when Chelsea were able to get forward.

Based on that display alone, it is hard to comprehend why Sarri has only turned to Emerson now, especially with Alonso playing poorly for most of the campaign.

Still, at least the Brazilian-born Italy international is now playing and delivering for his side.

TT Grade: C+

TT Verdict:

Ability-wise, there is not much separating Emerson and Digne. The latter has just been afforded the opportunity to showcase his talent.

Because of that, the former Barcelona defender looks like a gem of signing brought in by Silva and Marcel Brands.

Emerson, on the other hand, may come across as a flop to some. However, the Chelsea man has shown enough signs to suggest he can still come good and be as influential as Digne.

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