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Go for it Silva – It’s time for Everton to drop their veteran and hand this summer signing a first-team place

Why Lucas Digne should start ahead of Leighton Baines for Everton

Everton strengthened their squad in the summer transfer window under Marco Silva, and things are starting to take shape following their unbeaten start to the campaign. The Toffees brought in five fresh faces during the off-season and so far by the looks of it, the players have gelled well to give Silva a good start to the new season.

Lucas Digne is one of the five senior names that have walked in at the Goodison Park through the front door and he is threatening to displace one of the club’s longest-serving players after an impressive full debut in the Carabao Cup.

Digne, 25, was voted the man of the match after his performance in the 3-1 League Cup victory over Rotherham United. He followed it up with another impressive display in the 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town on Saturday. The Frenchman gave a testament of his energy and attacking dash against Rotherham that saw him retain his place for the Huddersfield clash.

A cross for Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s goal against Rotherham in midweek, with his right foot, was followed by another against Huddersfield with his favoured left-foot. While Everton were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Huddersfield, Digne excelled at the highest level. So with Digne’s back-to-back impressive displays at left-back, what does the future hold for Leighton Baines?

Baines, 33, joined Everton back in 2007 from Wigan Athletic and is the longest-serving player at Goodison Park right now. Despite his advancing years, Baines has not slowed down and remains as dangerous as ever with that wand of a left foot.

The Englishman’s intelligence, ability to read games, set-piece ability, excellent crossing and the eye for the spectacular have made him one of the most reliable and loved players in the blue half of Merseyside.

Yet, Baines, who has embarked on his twelfth campaign at Everton, appears to have been dethroned by the arrival of Digne. Baines started Everton’s opening three games of the 2018/19 campaign but with the 33-year-old’s poor show against Bournemouth last time out, Digne was given a start on Saturday and he grabbed the chance with both hands.

It is very clear that Digne hasn’t moved to Everton to play second fiddle again, as he did at Barcelona for two seasons. The 25-year-old boasts an impressive CV and his arrival at Goodison Park made complete sense. And in the last two games, the Frenchman has given Silva a lot to ponder going into the international break.

Read more: Opinion: Richarlison’s suspension presents a golden chance for his compatriot to nail down a spot in Silva’s Everton XI

Baines has largely been the club’s first choice left-back for the past 10 seasons. As he isn’t at his imperious best as he was in his peak years, it is time for Silva to drop the veteran Englishman and go with the talented Digne.