The left-back spoke about how his mentality helped him recover from a serious injury in half the time.
Everton defender Lucas Digne has revealed that the opportunity to return to play is all the motivation he needs to quickly recover from a broken ankle.
The French international left-back was expected to be missing for up to six weeks due to the training ground injury, but he actually came back in half that time.
And Digne came back to life in the Premier League by creating a goal in his side’s 2-1 win over Wolves.
“In my mind, I never agreed to be away for two or three months,” he said. Goal. “I was tackled from behind in training and I was very unhappy. I know that a fractured ankle and torn ligaments are potentially a very serious injury, but in my state of mind it was not.
“I always thought it wouldn’t be a big mountain that I should climb – just a small hill, where I could run to the top. And when you decide to do something, then your body gets stronger – at least I believe so.
“I always want to be on the pitch, of course – to help my team and my club, to make the fans proud. So being hurt is hell. But in fact, in a weird way, I enjoyed the hard work to come back even stronger – and I worked on other parts of my body – to come back better.
Meanwhile, he was thrilled to return with his fifth assist of the season in just nine league appearances.
“I was so happy to come back to the Premier League with a win against Wolves, and personally of course with an assist,” he said. “It was an incredible feeling to be honest.”
These remarkable numbers are, he says, due to his industry in the training field.
“Of course I am developing all the time as a player – and as a person,” he said. “Every day in training I work hard to improve every little detail of my football. Also with assists and key passes.
“But honestly I think I just continued my style and form from my first two seasons at Everton.
“It was exactly my ambition when I chose to leave Barcelona. It was not easy to leave Barca because they wanted me to stay, but personally it was not enough in my two seasons there to play 20 and 26 games per season even though we had a amazing team.
“I needed to play every game – and I’ve done it since I came to England and found exactly what I was looking for in Everton’s exciting project to build a bright future.
And Digne is delighted to play for Carlo Ancelotti’s top-flight team.
“I appreciate the style in the Premier League and at Everton – just like I enjoyed the style at Barca,” he said. “They are two very different ways of playing football, but both are good for me. Playing in different clubs, with different styles and in the best leagues has helped me develop my game.
“Here in England I can put a lot of crosses in the box, and I like to do that. We haven’t played like that at Barca.
“This season I’m not doing as many free kicks and turns as I did in my first two years at Everton. I delivered assists and assists from those set pieces so I’m happy to continue providing assists now from open play, and helping the team in this way is important to me.
“I actually focus on the key passes because I can control them – I can’t control if they become assists. I’m happy when my foot gives a key pass, and of course it matters a lot more if a teammate makes it a goal – but my pass is basically the same whether we score or not.
Digne’s offensive attributes clearly caught his manager’s attention as he was moved to a more advanced role for Wolves Clash.
“All teams need to be able to play in different ways. I believe the ability to have different tactical variations makes you a stronger team. I’m a left-back but I play where my coach needs me to play, and where I can help my team, ”he said before speaking about his ambitions for the season.
“I’ve always played in the Champions League – with Lille, PSG, Roma and Barca, so of course I hope we can qualify for this tournament. It would be great for the club, the players and especially the fans.
“However, the competition for these places is fierce. The Evertonians deserve this experience. There is no doubt that our ambition is to qualify for Europe, and at the moment we are in the right place in the table to do so, and we have to continue to develop as a team too to finish here.
Everton are currently in sixth place in the Premier League table, with two games underway due to schedule changes imposed by the coronavirus, and will face Sheffield on Wednesday in the FA Cup on Sunday.