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02:36 Thu 23 May 2019

Schneiderlin Hails 'Demanding' Compatriot Digne

Morgan Schneiderlin has saluted compatriot Lucas Digne's impact at Everton, describing the left-back as an "amazing player" with "big character".

Digne was voted the Club’s Player of the Season after enjoying a stellar debut campaign for the Blues.

The 25-year-old, who signed from La Liga giants Barcelona last summer, consistently blended polished defensive work with enterprising forays forward as he made 35 Premier League appearances in 2018-19.

Digne created 52 chances during the season – a total higher than any other defender in Europe’s top five leagues.

His value as an attacking outlet is further underlined by the fact he supplied 280 crosses, which was the most of any Premier League player.

Digne's eye-catching form earned him a France recall in October and he has remained a staple in Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps’ formidable squad.

The former Paris St Germain and Roma player - who also shared Everton's Players' Player of the Season prize with midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye - will be hoping to add to his 23 senior international appearances when the world champions take on Bolivia in a friendly clash in Nantes on Sunday.

Schneiderlin, who has played alongside the likes of France's Patrice Evra and Manchester United's Luke Shaw, as well as Everton favourite Leighton Baines, says Digne ranks alongside any left-back he has lined up with.

“He has amazing technical ability and can run up and down,” he told evertontv.

“I hope he can be at the Club for a long time.

“Lucas is the kind of guy you can go to war with.

“He is a big character and, for sure, he is as good a left-back as I have played with.”

Digne netted his first goal for Everton in memorable fashion last December, expertly curling home a last gasp free-kick at the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End to earn the Toffees a 2-2 draw with Watford.

The defender went on to register three more goals during the campaign, with each of his efforts coming from outside the box.

He bagged a brace in the Blues’ thumping 5-1 victory over Burnley on Boxing Day, before finding the bottom corner of David de Gea’s net with a sumptuous first-time hit in the resounding 4-0 success against Manchester United in April.

Schneiderlin says Digne’s exemplary ball-striking ability is testament to the defender’s fierce appetite to develop all aspects of his game.

“He is that kind of player who always demands a lot – from himself and the team,” he added.

“He runs a lot and every day he is trying to improve his shooting.

“It is amazing what he does.”

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