Lucas Digne joins Aston Villa because of Steven Gerrard, Newcastle United sign Chris Wood

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Lucas Digne said he decided to join Aston Villa because of the club’s coach Steven Gerrard who is a legend in the Premier League and the Three Lions of England.

Earlier today, Aston Villa confirmed that they have completed the signing of Lucas Digne for about £25 million from Everton.

The 28-year-old French left-back is the second signing coach Steven Gerrard has made at Aston Villa this season. Recall that the coach signed Philippe Coutinho on loan from FC Barcelona this January.

Just like Coutinho who could not establish himself at FC Barcelona, Lucas Digne was not enjoying game time under coach Rafael Benitez at Everton which inspired him to ask the club to sell him.

At that point, Chelsea, Newcastle United, and some Serie A clubs showed interest in the Frenchman but Digne decided to join Aston Villa.

Lucas Digne joins Aston Villa because of Steven Gerrard, Newcastle United sign Chris Wood
Lucas Digne unveiled at Aston Villa on Thursday, January 13, 2022.

His exit from Everton where he has been since 2018 has earned him a four-and-a-half-year deal at Aston Villa. Before he left Everton, the Frenchman made 127 appearances in which he scored six goals.

So far this season, coach Benitez used him just 15 times. Despite not being injured, he did not play for Everton since December 1, 2021.

After Digne signed for Aston Villa, coach Steven Gerrard said: “When Lucas became available we jumped at the opportunity to bring him to the club.

“To sign a player of his pedigree and quality in the January window is a great addition to our squad and his arrival excites me and everyone associated with Aston Villa.”

While Lucas Digne said: “I came here for the manager. I had a very good meeting with him, and we spoke a couple of times during this month. I feel his desire to win, to show his football as a manager – the attacking football, the possession.

“I feel it’s what I want and what I want to show to the fans.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle United have signed Chris Wood from Burnley for a transfer fee worth £25 million.

Chris Wood
Chris Wood.

The 30-year-old New Zealand striker is the second signing Newcastle United have made since a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium took over the club late last year. Recall that earlier in January, the relegation-threatened club signed Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid.

The arrival of Chris Wood is expected to be a direct replacement for Callum Wilson who has been ruled out for eight weeks due to a calf injury.

Newcastle offered Wood a contract that would see him remain at the Premier League club until the end of the 2023-2024 season.

“This is a massive opportunity and club, and something I couldn’t turn down,” Wood said.

“It wasn’t an easy decision. I spent four and a half great years [at Burnley]. Every single year I enjoyed myself there. My teammates, the staff, the club as a whole was fantastic.

“To be honest, I wish I’d left when Burnley were further up the league, but that’s just how football is sometimes.

“For me, there was no bad blood at all. I enjoyed my time there.”