Everton have completed the signing of Lucas Digne from Barcelona for an undisclosed fee, but one that is understood to be in the region of £18 million.
The French defender signs a five-year deal with the Blues until June 2023 as Marco Silva ticks off another key target for this transfer window - adding left-back competition for long-time mainstay Leighton Baines.
Digne follows Brazilian winger Richarlison through the door at Goodison Park as Everton’s second signing made during the shortened summer transfer window, as new Blues boss Silva looks to quickly mould the squad into his own.
Speaking to EvertonFC.com about the move to Merseyside, the 25-year-old said: “Everton is a big club with a great history. I want to play games, win games and excite the fans with the quality of our football."
“My first impression on meeting the new manager was really good. I had a great feeling with him when we spoke.
“Immediately I said, ‘I want to come to Everton’,” the defender explained.
Back to his best
After breaking through with Lille in 2011, Digne quickly became a player in demand and made a move to French giants PSG. However, that move didn’t exactly go to plan and the defender was sent out on Loan to AS Roma.
Impressing for I Giallorossi in his brief spell, he moved to Barcelona for just over €16 million.
However, being unable to usurp Jordi Alba, Digne’s playing time was limited to Copa Del Rey and Champions League dead rubber appearances
He wants to get back to the level that initially got him on the radar of some of Europe’s biggest sides with the Blues.
The French defender continued: “When you play with the best players it helps you build your character and, of course, it helps on the training ground and during games, too, because you want to give the best of you.
“I want to show my best football here and discover the best league in the world. Everybody loves the Premier League. I am loving the fact I am coming here.”
He added: “I am not afraid, I am excited. For me, it is a new challenge to discover a country, a league, people and a great club such as Everton. It is fabulous.”
Silva’s delight at welcoming Digne
From the moment he got his feet under the desk, finding a suitable left-back to take Everton in the future was a huge priority for Silva.
The Blues had been linked with Celtic’s Kieran Tierney but quickly switched their focus to Digne.
“It is important to say that he is a player who, from the first moment he was contacted, showed enormous desire to play at Everton,” explained Silva about the excitement of signing the well-travelled left-back.
He added: “He is a high-quality player, aggressive, with good technical ability and in the past five seasons he has played two years at Paris St-Germain, one in Roma and for the past two seasons he has demonstrated his clear quality in Barcelona.”