Carlo Ancelotti said last week that Everton are close to agreeing a new deal for Lucas Digne.

Digne made his return from injury against Rotherham in Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup third round win.

And Ancelotti’s update on his contract talks made it a double boost as far as the Frenchman is concerned.

In an exclusive interview with former Everton goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, he told Everton News how important Digne’s new deal would be.

Everton v Manchester United - Premier League
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“He’s an excellent player,” said Martyn. “He fills as a left back, but he can play that left wing back role really, really well as well.

“He’s good defensively and he’s very good going forward, so it’s important.

“He’s in the French squad as well, so he’s a good player to have. Get him signed up, get him a contract, definitely.

“That’s the quality of player you want to keep at your club.”

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The early signs are that this January window will see less activity than we would normally expect, because of the pandemic.

So perhaps the most important piece of business Everton can do this month is tie down one of their key men.

Manchester City need a left back and were last month linked with a swoop for Digne but a new contract would likely snuff out Pep Guardiola’s hopes of landing the Frenchman.

Ben Godfrey deputised ably for Digne but his early return from injury was still a huge boost, because as Martyn said, he offers so much going forward and whipping those crosses in.

Everton have a real chance of qualifying for Europe this season and that’s where a player of Digne’s quality belongs.

Hopefully he can help guide the Toffees to their ambitions once his new contract is actually confirmed.

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