Pundit believes ‘desperate’ Newcastle will ‘pay over the odds’ for PL star

Lewis Oldham
Newcastle linked Lucas Digne

Noel Whelan believes Newcastle United will “pay over the odds” for Everton defender Lucas Digne as they are “desperate”.

Newcastle are currently three points adrift of safety as they sit 19th in the Premier League. They have only won once this season.

Their Saudi-led takeover was completed earlier this season so they have funds at their disposal heading into the winter transfer window.

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The full-back has not played in Everton’s last three Premier League games. He allegedly has a “fractious relationship” with Toffees boss Rafael Benitez. 

Digne had previously been a shining light for Everton and he was a regular provider of assists down the left flank.

Whelan has told Football Insider that the Frenchman would be a “smart addition” for Newcastle:

“He’d be an amazing signing for Newcastle, absolutely,” Whelan said.

“I don’t think there’s anyone they won’t be willing to consider in January – and they’ll probably end up paying over the odds.

“As more and more games go by and they still don’t have the points on the board, they will get more and more desperate.

“If they drop out it will be horrible for them – all the excitement from that takeover will just drain from the club.

“January is so important, and the owners will put up whatever type of money to get the players in that Eddie Howe feels he needs to secure their safety.

“Lucas Digne would be a smart addition at just 28 years old – he can shine for a number of years to come. He’s got to hit the ground running if they’re going to get to that magic 40 point mark.”

Speaking earlier this month, Benitez called for Digne to put the team ahead of himself:

“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.”