Grading Lucas Digne’s transfer to Barcelona
Barcelona have completed their third signing of the summer transfer window, wrapping up the transfer of Paris Saint-Germain’s French left-back Lucas Digne for €16.5 million, with an additional €4 million possible in bonuses.
Digne’s arrival is another that signals a clear shift in Barcelona’s transfer tactics, as they continue to add more young talent to provide depth, and push Barcelona’s established veterans for a place in the first XI. The 22-year-old Frenchman will slot in as Jordi Alba’s backup, battling the Spaniard for a starting spot and providing much-needed cover over a long and grueling season. With 13 caps for the French national team, Digne was part of the group that just missed out on lifting the European Championship trophy, and is likely the future for Les Bleus at left back. He could very well do the same for Barcelona.
Digne spent the 2015/16 campaign on loan at AS Roma, making 43 appearances for the club, scoring three goals and chipping in with a further three assists. A solid and committed defender, Digne was second in the Roma team in tackles per game, tied for second with interceptions per game, and just behind Antonio Rudiger in fourth place for average clearances each match.
Blessed with pace and a good engine to get up and down the field, Digne is built sturdily, having only having suffered three injuries to keep him out of action over the last four seasons. A good passer and a competent dribbler in the final third, Digne has often struggled with his crossing accuracy, but that shouldn’t be an issue with Barcelona’s predilection for playing the ball on the floor and finding openings through tight combination play.
At €16.5 million, Digne is rather pricey for a backup left back, but at just 22 years of age, Barcelona will likely view him as the long term future of that role, hopefully slotting alongside fellow Frenchman Samuel Umtiti for the better part of the next decade. Digne has shown immense potential, and although his fee is a bit of a gamble, it may well prove to be a bargain in the long run.
MORE FROM FOX SOCCER: