Gary Neville takes a jibe at Everton for their business with Aston Villa

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The transfer market’s a crazy field and it becomes more so when baffling deals are struck. Former Manchester United player Gary Neville has now spoken about one such deal involving Everton and Aston Villa. Both Everton and Aston Villa actively conducted business in the January transfer market. Moreover, while Villa backed their boss Steven Gerrard, Everton sacked Rafa Benitez in the same month. Everton bought a total of five players and sold one. Whereas Aston Villa signed six and let go of three senior players.

Moreover, Everton and Aston Villa exchanged players as well. Villa sent Anwar El Ghazi to Everton on loan, while the Toffees sold Lucas Digne to the Midlanders. However, the transfer of Digne raised many eyebrows. The left-back had an impressive stint at Everton enjoying his time at the Merseyside club. But all of a sudden Digne made the switch mid-season to Aston Villa. Gary Neville has now given his verdict on Everton selling Digne despite his solid performances.

Neville says “shocker” that Everton sold Digne to Villa

Rumors were flying high that Digne had differences with the then Everton manager Rafa Benitez. As a result, the friction between the manager and the player led to Everton selling Digne. The French international further confirmed the same as well.

“When you are part of the framework, there are discussions with the coach. The relationship we had was not good. It was complicated to be excluded from the group for a month. It was an unprecedented situation in my career. But I had my family and my teammates with me,”

said Digne back in March.

However, the Everton sacked Rafa Benitez just three days after Digne joined Villa. This further perplexed everybody as since the club had decided to sack Benitez, then why sell Digne? A former full-back himself, Gary Neville has now weighed in on the argument. “That was a shocker that,” said Neville while speaking to the Overlap. He continued,

“Selling him (Digne), then sacking Benitez. That was unbelievable. That just told you how bad it was. They sold Lucas Digne and then basically three days later, they sacked the manager and got rid of one of your best players. It’s a shocker.”

Everton sold Digne to Villa for a fee of £27 million. As evident, Villa were the benefits of Everton’s crazy business strategy. Digne had played 127 games for Everton since joining them in 2018 from Barcelona. The left-back provided 20 assists and scored 6 goals in those 127 appearances. However, he had only 1 goal to show in 15 games for Everton this season.

Fortunes changed for Digne who finished with 4 assists in 16 games for Aston Villa. Everton signed Vitaliy Mykolenko as Digne’s replacement from Dynamo Kyiv for £21 million. Mykolenko has impressed the Toffees despite scoring only once and not assisting a single goal. Nonetheless, one would agree with Neville’s comments over Everton taking the decision to sell Digne, only to sack Benitez later.

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