Everton left-back Lucas Digne has been called up to the France squad to face Iceland and Germany in this month’s friendly encounters, just a few months after making the switch from Barcelona to Goodison Park.
The 25-year-old has been in fine form since arriving the Merseyside club in August for £18million, featuring in seven games across all competitions and making the left-back spot his on a permanent basis.
Digne’s performances have seen him earn a recall to the French national team after missing out of their World Cup-winning squad.
The former PSG man last played for France in March this year, during the 3-2 loss to Colombia, and despite being a part of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Euros squads with 21 caps to his name, he was only considered good enough for manager Didier Deschamps’s standby squad for Russia.
This was largely down to his indifferent form at Barcelona, where he was firmly behind Jordi Alba in the selection order, and Digne would wish he had made that Everton move last summer or in January, as that would have boosted his chances of making France’s 23-man World Cup squad.
“I think moving to Everton is so important to my recall,” the defender, who played 46 times for Barcelona in his two seasons at Camp Nou, told evertontv.
“When I came here I wanted to play every week, to enjoy it and discover a new country, a new league, and then see what happens with the national team. But now I am so happy.
“I want to say ‘thank you’ to my teammates, the coach and the staff and the fans, too because they helped me a lot to get the recall.”
Despite Digne’s quality, he struggled to adapt to Barcelona’s style of play.
However, he has hit the ground running since linking up with manager Marco Silva’s side, with his defending, eager runs forward and crossing ability marking him out as one of Everton’s best players of the campaign thus far.
He surely would have been on that plane to Russia and ultimately, most likely won the World Cup with France had he taken the decision to link up with Everton months earlier.
An unavoidable sense of what might have been will surely remain with the player forever, and he will now be looking forward to making the most of his Everton switch after it helped revive his international career.