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01:58 Thu 16 May 2019

Digne Credits Silva Influence For Stellar Debut Campaign

Everton Player of the Season Lucas Digne says credit for his individual prize should be shared with manager Marco Silva.

Digne crowned a terrific debut Everton campaign when he landed the blue-riband award at the Club’s end-of-season Dixies.

The left-back, who split players’ player honours with former Lille teammate Idrissa Gana Gueye, started 33 Premier League games following his transfer from Barcelona last summer.

Digne’s tally of 52 chances created was higher than any other defender in Europe’s top-five leagues. His 280 crosses was the most provided by any player in England’s top division.

“The manager did a lot, he did everything for me,” Digne told evertontv.

“I work a lot with him and his staff, always trying to improve my quality and seeing where I need to work.

“He showed me a lot of videos and has given me lots of advice.

“And this trophy [Player of the Season Dixie] has a lot to do with him.

“It’s a big pleasure for me to win this award because the fans chose me.

"We need to keep going and keep working for next season.

“We are looking forward and building something. I am very happy to be part of the team – and so happy to win this trophy in my first season in the Premier League.”

Digne signed for Everton after two years with Barca, where he played 46 matches and won the 2017-18 Spanish title.

He nevertheless missed out on selection for France’s World Cup winning squad last summer before a diet of regular football at Goodison Park led to his international recall.

An Under-20 World Cup winner in 2013, Digne made his senior France debut the following year – eight months after swapping Lille for upwardly mobile Paris Saint-Germain.

He won two league championships and one French Cup in the capital before spending one season on loan in Italy with Roma.

The 25-year-old settled overnight at Goodison. Digne made his first appearance in a pre-season friendly with Valencia and celebrated his full Premier League debut back in September by creating a goal for Dominic Calvert Lewin against Huddersfield Town.

The player, whose wife Tiziri gave birth to the couple’s first child last month, is convinced Everton can carry the momentum gathered at the back end of 2018-19 into next term.

“I will be ready and we need to work hard during pre-season to start the best way possible,” added Digne, who scored four goals and provided four assists during the campaign and could add to his 23 France caps in matches against Bolivia, Turkey and Andorra next month.

“I have a very good feeling with the Evertonians.

“They welcomed me the best way I could imagine. From the beginning against Valencia, it was an amazing atmosphere in Goodison and it is always just amazing to play in front of them.

“This award is for my son, my family and for the Club and my partner and, for sure, the manager and staff.

“Without them I could not win anything.”

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