Four players made their full Everton debuts as the Blues beat Lincoln City 4-2 in a breathless Carabao Cup tie on Wednesday night – and goalscorer Lucas Digne says the new boys’ impressive performances reflect how swiftly they have settled in at the Club.
Summer signings Djibril Sidibe, Fabian Delph, Alex Iwobi and Moise Kean were named in Marco Silva’s starting line-up for the first time at Sincil Bank.
They helped Everton deliver a purposeful attacking display in Lincolnshire, as the Blues recovered from the blow of conceding within the opening minute to strike four times and book a third-round clash at Sheffield Wednesday.
Digne, whose sensational free-kick got Everton back on level terms after that early setback, believes the full debutants will benefit from the experience of playing in such a high-octane contest.
The Frenchman reserved special praise for former Arsenal man Iwobi. The pair linked up effectively down the Blues’ left flank, providing a consistent threat to the Lincoln backline.
Iwobi capped a livewire performance when he headed in his maiden Everton goal 10 minutes from time.
“Alex is an amazing player and a very good guy,” Digne told evertontv.
“For me, it's easy to play with him. He's an intelligent player.
“The new players have adapted really quick and they played well [against Lincoln] and helped the team.
“We are growing, and we are building something. It's important for everybody.”
Digne’s stunning free-kick on 36 minutes was his fifth goal for Everton.
While each of the 26-year-old’s strikes have come from outside the box, Wednesday night's effort was arguably his most spectacular to date.
From the best part of 30 yards, Digne showcased his immaculate technique, arrowing a powerful, precise effort high into the top corner.
The full-back's memorable equaliser was followed up by a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty just before the hour-mark as the Blues hit the front.
But when Lincoln fought back through Bruno Andrade, Silva’s side had 20 minutes to force a winner and prevent the match heading to a penalty shootout.
Everton dug deep – attacking with speed, urgency and invention – and clinical late headers from Iwobi and Richarlison ensured the Blues’ progress.
Digne said the team’s hunger and togetherness were key factors in the success, and also praised the vocal following of the travelling Evertonians for continuing to drive the players on at Sincil Bank.
“After the bad beginning of the game, it was important to score fast and we did before half-time,” he added.
“It was important to prove we have the character to comeback when we are losing.
“I think it was important for us and the supporters, because they are always here for us.
“Even if we are losing, they always push us and it helps us so much."
This video is for Season Ticket Holders, Official Members and Hospitality Members
This content is available for free to Digital Members
Free Digital Membership will provide you with the best possible experience when logged into the website, including access to the latest digital content.
Digital members will receive a monthly newsletter and get access to exclusive videos and regular member competitions offering money can’t buy prizes.
Your Digital account will also enable you to buy any tickets on general sale, and if you’re an Official member or Season Ticket Holder, the same login will allow you to access and manage your ticketing account.