Premier League

Everton's Lucas Digne has been the most creative full-back in the Premier League this season

Despite picking up a serious ankle injury in November, Lucas Digne is still one of the most creative players in the Premier League this season

5:10pm on Thursday 7th January 2021
Stefan Bienkowski

Despite their recent 1-0 defeat to West Ham, Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton side are flying high in the Premier League with nine wins from their first 16 games and sit comfortably in seventh place.

While teams around them have stumbled and struggled for form, the Toffees have been able to rely upon pragmatic tactics and individual performances to get them through clashes against even the toughest opponents.

And as if that wasn’t good enough, it now seems certain that Ancelotti will be able to recall Lucas Digne from injury before the end of the month.

Not only was the French left-back an important defender in Ancelotti’s Everton side before picking up a serious injury towards the end of last year, but his creative stats were also some of the best in the English top-flight and should add another string to Everton’s already impressive bow.

Despite missing the last seven league games and a further match for a red card suspension earlier in the season, Digne remains second in Everton’s squad for big chances created in the Premier League this season with four. Only James Rodriguez sits above him with a further two.

Similarly, the Everton left-back still sits relatively high in the Premier League assist table, with a further four assists from eight games. Only eight players have managed more this season, despite playing much more football.

The most creative full-backs in the Premier League this season

PlayerTeamAssists P90
CresswellWest Ham0.23
CoufalWest Ham0.15

Yet, what’s perhaps even more impressive is that Digne’s assists per 90 minutes is one of the most impressive in the Premier League. When we filter out players that haven’t yet managed 500 minutes of Premier League football, Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane and then Man City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne sit first and second in the table, but Digne then comes in third.

That means the Everton full-back is averaging more assists per game than Bruno Fernandes, Jack Grealish, Heung-Min son and his own Everton team mate, Rodriguez. Indeed, when we break it down to just Premier League full-backs we find Digne well ahead of the likes of Ben Chilwell, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Whether Digne can return from his nasty ankle injury with the same consistently excellent performances remains to be seen, but there’s little doubt that he’s been Everton’s most creative player this season. And with him back in the side Ancelotti’s team may look even better than they already have done this season.

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