By Nick Ware

16th May, 2021 | 7:43pm

Martin Keown rages at Lucas Digne in Everton clash v Sheffield United

Martin Keown was furious with Everton defender Lucas Digne in the first half of their clash with Sheffield United on Sunday evening.

The Blues made a slow start against the rock-bottom Blades whose Premier League fate was sealed a long time ago.

Despite the difference in points between the sides it was the visitors that took the lead through 17-year-old Daniel Jebbison, and there was further sloppiness from Everton defenders after that.

Martin Keown was on punditry duties for BT Sport’s live coverage of the match, and turned on Digne for failing to clear properly down the left hand side.

Commentator Darren Fletcher remarked, “They’re zipping it around really well aren’t they [Sheffield United], testing Everton here.”

After Digne hesitated on the ball Keown exclaimed, “Digne, just batter it out!”

Don’t panic

Digne is one of our most reliable performers and has been instrumental to our progress at both ends of the pitch.

He’s solid around our penalty area while his attacking forays are integral in a team lacking any real width or pace.

The French international can lay claim to being one of Europe’s best in his position and is a tidy player on the ball, something honed at Barcelona before he joined the Blues.

But you wouldn’t have guessed it by Keown’s comments.

Of course there was heightened pressure on the defence after going a goal down early on against the lowly Blades, but that doesn’t mean we should panic and start ‘hoofing’ balls upfield.

We trust Digne knows what he’s doing and Keown was far too quick to pile in on him.

In other Everton news, Blues make contact with agent of winger with 25 direct goal involvements.

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