Digne becomes the second player through the door in this January transfer window, following Philippe Coutinho who joined on loan from Barcelona last week.
And whilst it was Coutinho that stole the headlines, it’s Digne who could prove the smartest bit of business to date.
The Frenchman, who has played his trade at some of the world’s biggest clubs including Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona has statistically been one of the best players at his position in the Premier League since his arrival on Merseyside three years ago.
And whilst Villa’s current left-back Matt Targett has been solid for the most part - even winning players’ player of the season just last year - Digne can be seen as a significant upgrade.
When comparing the two, the new man quite literally outperforms Targett in every area.
BetVictor have provided an in-depth comparison of the two as well as Villa’s other squad members that can play the wing-back role and it makes for pretty reading for Digne.
Lucas Digne Performance Analysis:
- No player analysed assisted more goals than Lucas Digne last season with 7 at an assist per 90 mins rate of 0.3. This bettered all of Ashley Young (4 assists at 0.3 per 90), Matty Cash (2 assists at 0.1 per 90), and Matt Targett (2 assists at 0.1 per 90).
- Digne can offer Aston Villa increased threat going forward reflected by his chance creation per 90 mins rate of 1.6, comfortably outperforming Cash (0.8) and Targett (1.1) coming second only to Ashley Young’s 1.9 which was achieved at Inter Milan as part of a Serie A winning side.
- His attacking prowess is further amplified by his 1.1 successful crosses from open play per 90, which is ahead of Cash (0.8) and Young (0.7), and over double Matt Targett’s rate of 0.5.
- Digne is also not afraid to take on opposing players achieving the highest rate of take-ons, with 0.7 coming per 90 mins, again ahead of Cash (0.5), Young (0.4) and Targett (0.4). His take-on success rate is the second highest at 64.29%, with Cash narrowly ahead at 66.67%, Targett 60% and Young 38.46%.
- It is not just offensively that Digne can contribute to Villa, winning 3.1 aerial duals per 90 mins at a success rate of 68.15% puts him above Targett (1.9 at 58.68%), Cash (1.5 at 47.3%) and Young (0.3 at 26.67%), and will help Steven Gerrard’s team defend and win high balls.
Digne’s main competition for the left-back spot will of course be that man Targett though who hasn’t had the greatest of season’s to date.
He’s been on the end of a lot of criticism from the fans for below-par performances and it obviously didn’t go unnoticed by Gerrard who acted quick to bring in a new face this month.
But it doesn’t mean Targett’s career is now over at Villa Park. The new manager made it clear when he arrived that he likes having two capable players at every position and left-back now most certainly has that.
And whilst Digne’s attacking stats are far superior to the rest of the Villa defence, he is weaker defensively than Targett.
It’s yet to be seen how Gerrard will work the two but for that reason, we could see Targett playing more of the games against the top teams for his defensive capabilities with Digne being utilised for the majority of others.
When it comes to defensive actions Digne betters Targett for clearances (2.5 per 90 compared to 2.3), but Targett outperforms Digne for interceptions (1.5 per 90 compared to 1.1) and blocks (0.4 per 90 compared to 0.2).
Top Half Premier League Finish:
- Leicester City 2/7
- Wolverhampton Wanderers 8/13
- Brighton 8/11
- Aston Villa 1/1
- Southampton 11/4
- Crystal Palace 3/1
- Everton 7/2
A message from the editor: Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram and keep the conversation going.