By George Overhill

13th Jan, 2022 | 1:19pm

Simon Jordan slams Lucas Digne following statement on Everton exit

Simon Jordan has responded to Lucas Digne’s message upon leaving Everton with a scathing assessment, telling the player to “zip it up” live on air.

The ex-Crystal Palace chairman was thoroughly unimpressed with the Aston Villa signing’s position and said he “totally” backed Rafael Benitez in the dispute, despite his low view of the manager.

Frenchman Digne had posted a heartfelt message on Instagram implying his manager had destroyed his love affair with the Toffees, something Jordan called “nonsense”.

Speaking live on talkSPORT on Thursday (13 January, 11.40am) the pundit said: “Whilst blowing kisses at Everton fans and making sure that as much of the adversity that he can pile onto Rafa Benitez, while saying he’s not prepared to do that, it’s beneath him, he precisely goes and does that.

“I wouldn’t bring Rafa Benitez into a club… but if you’ve got him there you’ve got to say that he is the guy you’re gonna back”

Summing up Digne, he went on: “I find players like that aren’t just a problem in one area, they become a problem somewhere else.”

Unequivocal

The weight of Jordan’s words are particularly notable since he has made his negative opinion of the Goodison manager’s abilities well known, and yet he left no room for doubt as to who he supported in the war of words between boss and player.

The message that Digne had sent out to the fans and the club was clearly an attempt to influence the narrative surrounding his exit.

Since the manager is already an unpopular figure among the supporters, most of them would likely have fallen on the player’s side of the divide.

But if the talkSPORT man’s viewpoint is anything to go by, not liking Benitez is not a prerequisite for taking the other side of the argument.

And it must be said that Jordan’s point that Digne was attempting portray that he was above taking swipes at anyone on his way out, surely knowing full well that he was doing just that, is valid.

The majority of the squad, including various who hold more significant roles than the ex-Barcelona man, have managed to at least stay professional and continue to be available to the boss.

So the possibility that Digne will become a problem again in future, as Jordan suggests will have to be kept in mind over the coming seasons.

In other Everton news, the club has “made contact” with this executive with history at European giants.