Ruthless Emery prepared to rid Aston Villa of Gerrard signing in favour of new star

Ciaran McCarthy
Unai Emery, Aston Villa, March 2023

Unai Emery is reportedly ‘not a fan’ of Aston Villa full-back Lucas Digne, and will ‘seriously consider’ selling him ‘if an appropriate offer arrives this summer.’

Digne was the first signing to walk through the door during Steven Gerrard’s reign as manager. He made an instant impact following his £25million move from Everton, scoring on just his second game, which came against his former club.

He played 16 of a possible 19 league games last term, missing out on a handful of occasions through injury.

He began the season as a starter this term, but has seen his minutes slashed as a result of the arrival of Alex Moreno. The Spaniard was for Unai Emery as Digne was for Gerrard – his first signing at the club.

Moreno has played every game he’s been available for at Villa, starting eight of those 12, while also being allowed to get up to speed with some substitute appearances. Clearly his addition has helped somewhat, as of his 12 appearances, Villa have won eight.

Moreno’s presence might continue to hinder Digne. Indeed, Emery might well have decided, now that his first signing has gotten fully up to speed, the Frenchman is no longer needed.

Football Insider reports Villa will ‘seriously consider parting with Digne if an appropriate offer is made this summer’. It seems there are a few reasons for that.

The report suggests there is a belief that Emery ‘is not a fan’ of the left-back, which is the reason he replaced him so quickly.

Furthermore, Digne is reportedly Villa’s highest earner, and given he’s under contract until 2026, they’ll be paying him a lot of money for a long time if they don’t get rid.

If Moreno is now the no.1 option at left-back, shipping his predecessor out seems to make the most sense. It appears Digne will welcome the opportunity to leave Villa, too.

Football Insider suggests he is ‘not satisfied with playing a backup role’ at Villa. Given the success the club are having now that Moreno has usurped him of position, it seems it’ll be hard for him to gain it back.

As such, it seems there’s cause for him to move on from the club. That he was signed for £25million and is under contract for another three years means Villa will be able to demand a decent sum for him.

It remains to be seen who will come in for him, but given he’s never really done much wrong at the club, he shouldn’t be short of suitors.

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