Everton manager Marco Silva has revealed neither Lucas Digne or Leighton Baines will be guaranteed a starting place at left-back this season. Digne joined on a permanent deal from Barcelona earlier in the summer as competition for the ageing Baines (33).
The French international has made two appearances in the Premier League and one in the EFL Cup, while being an unused sub in another league outing. Baines, on the other hand, has featured in all four of Everton’s four top-flight matches.
Despite this, Baines’ place in the Everton backline is far from secure. Silva wants the two to fight for a starting place, as he believes the constant competition it will get the best from them in training and in games.
As per the Liverpool Echo, Silva said: “I think it’s normal. It is normal at a big club like us to have good players for all the positions. If you can have two it will be good for me, it will be good for the players as well.
“If they have more competition they work more, they are ready to work every day because they are in doubt of what the decision of the coach will be. It is important for me to have these problems to decide.”
Baines is in the last year of his deal with the Toffees and may not sign a contract extension given his advancing age. Digne is certainly meant to a long-term replacement, but he may not be the immediate solution.
Silva has so far preferred Baines this season, but he won’t be able to play the entire campaign at left-back. Digne will have his moments to impress, so it’s vital that he remains patient.
Stats from Transfermarkt.