Benitez insists dropped Everton star must put team ahead of himself

News Desk
Everton manager Rafa Benitez

Everton manager Rafael Benitez has told left-back Lucas Digne he must put the team ahead of himself.

The Frenchman was dropped from the squad for Monday’s dramatic late victory over Arsenal which ended a run of eight matches without a win amid speculation of a fall-out.

READ MORE: Gerrard and Villa must be brave to have a chance at Anfield

Digne, Everton’s only recognised left-back, has trained with the squad this week but Benitez would not confirm whether he would return against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

“It is clear: the manager decides,” he said. “He has been training today. It is a normal situation with the player training and we will see tomorrow if he is available or not.

“We need all the players around because that increases the competition but at the same time everyone has to be focused and realise the priority has to be the team.

“What he has to do is ensure he continues working hard and the team is ahead of any individual.

“I don’t want to talk too much about individuals, it is not fair for the group. The team was doing really well with different players on the pitch the other day so we can do it.”

In Digne’s absence, Ben Godfrey was pushed out on the left – a job he has done temporarily on a few occasions – and did a good enough job to nullify the attacking threat of Bukayo Saka.

“Very good. He was one of the key points for us in terms of getting the three points,” was Benitez’s assessment of the defender’s performance.

“Everybody knows how dangerous Saka is, he was controlling him quite well.”