By Beck Pascal

11th Jan, 2022 | 8:45am

Michael Ball baffled by Benitez' 'strange' reaction to Everton star Digne

Michael Ball has questioned Rafa Benitez and his “strange” reaction to the Lucas Digne saga at Everton in recent weeks. 

The pair are coming towards the end of their public disagreement with the Frenchman set to leave Goodison Park. 

With his future clearly over on Merseyside, Digne looks set to join Steven Gerrard’s new project at Aston Villa. 

The cause of this issue is still largely up for debate with neither manager nor player benefitting from the affair. 

“I sort of get those Peter Reid comments but I thought they were very strange and somewhat baffling.” Ball wrote for ECHO.

“They struck me from the outside of being the remarks of a man under pressure, but looking in from the outside, we don’t know the truth about what’s gone on. We can only comment on what we hear.”

He added “Rafa says he’s a professional man and Digne will be so, too, but if a player turns around and says, ‘I don’t want to play for you’, then there’s not much you can do as a manager.

“That’s both of them having an ego and it’s backfired because the people who are suffering here are the Everton fans.”

Bigger than the club? 

Nobody at Everton has benefitted from this ongoing public mess. With the exception of Vitaliy Mykolenko who now has a chance to make the left-back position for the Toffees his own. 

Digne forcing a move like this speaks volumes of his character. He is a top-quality player but whoever takes him on next should be very cautious as his attitude came under question with Carlo Ancelotti and now again with Benitez.

It’s a shame that the Blues are losing one of their best players, but nobody wants a player who doesn’t want to be at the club. End of. 

Benitez also faces his own critics but it’s something the stubborn tactician will be used to. He has fallen out with several players throughout his managerial career but the extent to how far this Everton issue will go is unknown. 

The players may now be cautious of their boss and many fans have lost what respect they may have had for the Spaniard, but the success of his Blues career is very much based on the team’s form and if it is good enough, all of this will be forgotten. 

Most of all the fans have been dealt the short straw, they have lost one of the Toffees best players which was at least softened with the introduction of Mykolenko.

In other Blues news, View: Everton must capitalise on positive fourth round draw v Brentford.