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Rafael Benitez provides cryptic explanation for Digne’s absence vs Arsenal

By Conor Laird Published: December 6, 2021 7:49 pm

Last Updated: December 6, 2021 8:03 pm

Everton boss Rafael Benitez has, on Monday evening, provided an altogether cryptic explanation for the absence of Lucas Digne from his squad to face Arsenal.

Gunners test Benitez will of course lead his troops back into action shortly.

On the back of an alarming stretch of form which has seen them slip to the depths of 16th in the Premier League table, the Toffees are set to welcome Arsenal to Goodison Park, for a highly-anticipated showdown.

Everton, for obvious reasons, will head into proceedings nothing short of desperate for a bounce-back result, having not secured a single 3-point haul since all the way back in September.

Such woes even saw the club part ways with Director of Football Marcel Brands 24 hours ago.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 01: Everton Director of Football, Marcel Brands looks on prior to the Premier League match between Everton FC and Huddersfield Town at Goodison Park on September 1, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

‘Not available…’ As alluded to above, though, Everton’s efforts to steady the ship up against Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal will come with one of the club’s key performers watching on from the sidelines.

The player in question? Lucas Digne.

Upon the hosts’ matchday squad for tonight’s clash being unveiled a short time ago, first-choice left-back Digne marked an altogether conspicuous absence:

Your Everton team to face Arsenal 💪#EVEARS pic.twitter.com/at77JBYVoh

— Everton (@Everton) December 6, 2021

In turn, speaking to the media amid his pre-match duties ahead of kick-off, Rafael Benitez was unsurprisingly drawn on the whereabouts of his defensive star.

The Everton boss, however, refused to provide a straight answer, simply insisting that Digne is ‘not available’, despite assurances elsewhere that the Frenchman has not picked up any form of injury problem.

Rafa Benitez on Lucas Digne absence: “He’s not available.”

Reporter Pat Davison: “You can’t tell us more than that?”

RB: “No. It’s just that we have players coming back and that is the good news for us.” 🤔 #EFC

— Ben Grounds (@Ben_Islington) December 6, 2021

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