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Everton make Barcelona defender 2nd signing of summer

The 25-year-old Frenchman is expected to give Leighton Baines competition at left-back.

SNS | New Delhi |

Premier League outfit Everton on Wednesday confirmed the signing of Barcelona fullback Lucas Digne for a reported fee of £18 million.

Several media outlets had reported that the 5’10 fullback had arrived in Liverpool to complete his medical on Tuesday night and the deal was a mere formality then.

“Everton is a big club with a great history. I want to play games, win games and excite the fans with the quality of our football,” Digne told evertontv.

“I played good football in Rome and I played well, too, in Barcelona. I progressed a lot as a player and as a person by playing with the best players in the world.”

After impressing for the Giallorossi while on loan from Paris Saint-Germain for the 2015/15 season, Digne was snapped up by La Blaugrana in a deal said to have cost the Catalan giants a reported €20 million.

“I want to show my best football here and discover the best league in the world. Everybody loves the Premier League. I am loving the fact I am coming here.”

His time in Barcelona wasn’t the stuff of dreams as the young Frenchman struggled to break into the starting XI and over the course of two seasons, made just 46 appearances for them.

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“I am not afraid, I am excited. For me, it is a new challenge to discover a country, a league, people and a great club such as Everton. It is fabulous.”

A fast left-back, the 25-year-old is effectively a long-term replacement for veteran Leighton Baines but it remains to be seen if he can dislodge the Englishman immediately or takes time to bed in.

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Digne is the second signing of the summer, as the Toffees paid £35 million to Watford for the services of Brazilian winger Richarlison in July.

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The Frenchman is expected to be in contention to start the club’s 2018/19 Premier League opener, an away fixture at newcomers Wolves on August 11.