Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard couldn’t help but sing the praises of new signing Lucas Digne ahead of Saturday’s clash with Manchester United, claiming it was a ‘no brainer’ to bring the left-back to Villa Park.
And whilst it’s Coutinho who has grabbed many of the headlines over the past week or so, it’s the Frenchman, who has signed on a permanent, that could prove to be the best bit of business.
Since his arrival in the Premier League there haven’t been many better full-backs around, especially from an attacking sense.
He finished in whoscored.com’s team of the year three seasons running and according to their stats, was the best left-back in the Premier League in 2021.
There has never been any doubt over his ability and Gerrard says there was no way the club were going to pass up on the chance to bring a man of his talent in.
“When we first arrived I don’t think there was a situation at Everton,” explained the boss.
“Lucas was starting games and he was Everton’s first choice left-back so he never really came into our thinking until recently.
“Obviously we were aware of the situation.
“It became evident that there could be availability there and we wanted to jump on that chance straight away for a couple of reasons.
“One because he’s a top player with a top pedigree who’s a winner, who knows how to win - he brings experience.
“At the same time, he fits into the system and how we want to play which is vital.
“His chance creation, his crossing quality, his athleticism and also he’s capable of being very astute defensively as well.
“This was a no brainer as soon as we knew the availability was there.”
Gerrard confirmed that both Lucas Digne and Philippe Coutinho will be available for selection on Saturday evening with the Frenchman 100% fit and ready to go.
Do you think we’ll see him start against Manchester United?
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