Lucas Digne has set out his ambition to continue providing a steady stream of assists for Everton’s attackers, as he gave an insight into his expansive passing range and decision-making in the attacking third.
The Frenchman also praised the inspiring support he received from Evertonians during his rapid rehabilitation from ankle ligament surgery.
Digne laid on Everton’s first goal in Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The 27-year-old, operating as a left winger, showcased his immaculate technique to volley James Rodriguez’s floated crossfield pass into the path of Alex Iwobi, who rifled the Toffees into the lead at Molineux.
The assist was Digne’s fifth from just nine Premier League matches this season – a total unsurpassed by any other top-flight defender and bettered by only Harry Kane, Bruno Fernandes, Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish.
“I’m very happy with the statistics,” Digne told evertontv.
“It’s not bad for a defender!
“To play the cross with your first touch is sometimes the best solution. You can have more space to make the pass and you give time to the striker to shoot. It’s what happened [against Wolves] with Alex and it was perfect.
“It is part of my job to give assists and I’m very happy when I can help the team to win.
“It was the first time I played left wing from the start of the game.
“Maybe two years ago, I played 10 minutes in that position, in my first game in the Premier League.
“It was new for me but I have to help the team. I think in modern football, a good player can play everywhere.”
Tuesday night’s win represented Digne’s second Everton start in four days, having made his First-Team comeback in the Blues’ 2-1 FA Cup victory over Rotherham United on Saturday.
Everton Director of Medical, Danny Donachie, revealed Digne’s return was “way ahead of schedule” having undergone ankle ligament surgery just over six weeks ago.
Donachie added Digne’s quick recovery was testament to his relentless work-ethic and determined mindset.
The France international was eager to pay tribute to the expertise of the Blues’ medical team during his rehab – and to the Everton fans for their flood of supportive messages.
“I worked a lot since the beginning of my surgery,” he said.
“I think I took just two days off. But, no pain, no gain, like everybody says!
“It was my goal to be back as soon as possible. I worked hard every day to be back. Now, it’s paid off. I am very happy to be back with the team and to win.
“I just want to say a big thank you to the medical staff at Everton. They helped me a lot every day.
“The fans supported me a lot, too, they sent me a lot of messages every day. I want to say a big thank you to them because I could never imagine I would receive so many messages like this. It was just amazing.”
Digne added: “I’m feeling okay now. Maybe not 100 per cent, because I felt tired in the last 10 minutes [against Wolves]. For me, that’s not normal.
“But I am very happy to be back and I am feeling better and better.”
Everton’s victory over Wolves was the Blues’ fifth in their past six Premier League matches.
It was also Everton’s sixth win in nine top-flight away matches this season. Carlo Ancelotti’s side are now fourth in the Premier League table, just four points behind leaders Manchester United.
“We have a good mentality and we showed against Wolves the best spirit until the end,” Digne said.
“I think the team has adapted well when we have lost some key players. Like tonight, we missed Dominic [Calvert-Lewin], the boss adapted very well and gave us very good advice.
“We have to look forward. If we can keep the same mentality and keep achieving good results, we can do something good this season.”