By Nick Ware

28th Aug, 2021 | 3:40pm

Sue Smith blasts Lucas Digne in first half of Everton clash v Brighton

Sky Sports pundit Sue Smith was left unimpressed with Lucas Digne’s start to Saturday afternoon’s clash between Everton and Brighton.

The 28-year-old was making his third successive Premier League start of the season at the Amex Stadium, but speaking on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday [28/08/21], ex-England international Smith was critical of the Frenchman early in the first half.

“Lucas Digne has looked a little bit sloppy in the opening few moments,” she said.

“He’s given the ball away a couple of times.

“He needs to liven up.”

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Digne is no stranger to slow starts – he can often be seen taking his time to grow into games.

But when he does, he’s a hard act to stop for opposition defences.

His runs down the left-hand side and subsequent deliveries into the box have become a feature of Everton’s play over the last few years, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin the biggest beneficiary of those crosses.

It was a slow start for the Blues and the game in general during the first half on Saturday, but Digne can perhaps be forgiven for working his way into the action after recovering from an injury in the summer.

He was forced from the field in France’s final Euro 2020 group game in June and missed their last 16 defeat to Switzerland days later.

Digne returned for the Blues in the 4-0 friendly defeat to Manchester United earlier this month before starting their first two Premier League fixtures.

The Frenchman also came on in the midweek cup win over Huddersfield Town.

With Thierry Small now at Southampton and speculation over Niels Nkounkou’s future, Digne is more important than ever for the Blues.

In other Everton news, the Blues are confident of signing this record-breaking striker amid an approach to his Saudi-owned club.

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