Lucas Digne

Everton defender Lucas Digne has withdrawn himself from the squad that is set to meet Chelsea on Thursday.

There have been reports that the Frenchman has broken ranks with manager Rafa Benitez and has not featured for the club in their last two games despite being fit to play.

Benitez had claimed that the player was ill last week but when asked about his sentiments ahead of the Thursday game, the Spaniard said: “It is not that I believe (that he is sick) or not.

“I have been in football for so many years and I have so many experiences similar to this one and it is a question of making a decision. I have to be sure that the players that will be there tomorrow want to be there and they want to fight for the club.”

Everton has just won one of their last ten games with pressure mounting on Benitez to resign. There are reports that a section of players are not willing to play for the manager with Benitez expected to be shown the door if the results don’t change.

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