Eyeing Neymar’s Replacement, Al Hilal in Negotiations With Aston Villa to Sign Lucas Digne: Reports

Published 01/07/2024, 1:27 AM EST

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When Al Hilal splurged more than $400 million on Neymar, they would never have thought about looking for his replacement within months. The Saudi League toppers have been missing the Brazilian’s services since October 2023, due to a terrible knee injury. Now that the club is eyeing his replacement, rumor mills understand they are trying to negotiate with Los Angeles FC’s Denis Bouanga. Meanwhile, per certain prior reports, Al Hilal is looking for a left back instead of a forward. And Neymar’s side now sees a potential Al Hilal player in the Frenchman Lucas Digne.

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Al Hilal coach Jorge Jesus had earlier chosen to buy a full-back instead of an attacker like Neymar. Now that the window has arrived, the club seems to stick on to the boss’ idea. Besides, Al Hilal’s attacking lineup is nothing short of lethal, despite Neymar’s absence.

How does signing a fullback cover for Neymar’s absence?

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According to the X Handle, ‘ActuSPL,’ Al Hilal is reportedly in negotiations with Aston Villa to sign French full-back Lucas Digne. Digne’s form with Aston Villa is impressive lately. Furthermore, the Frenchman’s contract with the English side expires only in 2026. Even so, his exit and a move to Al Hilal or some other club look plausible. But how? Let’s find out below.

Aston Villa reportedly wants to acquire Argentine and Sevilla left-back Marcos Acuna, who can be deployed as a makeshift left-winger. For Acuna’s potential arrival, Lucas Digne would have to leave Villa for some other club. Well, such an imminent Villa exit is not the only reason Al Hilal could bet on Digne. Considering his attacking prowess with a six-goal contribution yet, Digne could cover for Neymar’s absence in the Hilal lineup. Besides, Digne has also proven that he can score goals when needed. His goal had powered Aston Villa’s thumping 3-1 win against Manchester United this season. And, Al Hilal is surely missing the services of an experienced full-back with European experience.

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Digne’s signing will amp up Al Hilal’s defensive end

Players who boast vast experience in European clubs and competitions dominate Al Hilal’s midfield and front positions. Save center back Kalidou Koulibaly, no other defender comes with as impressive a CV as Lucas Digne. The Frenchman brings to the table the experience of playing for the likes of Barcelona, PSG, Roma, and Everton. Besides, Aston Villa has been seeing the 30-year-old’s best version lately.

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Also, Aston Villa’s front office had mulled Lucas Digne’s departure from the club during the last pre-season. Considering all this, it won’t be surprising if France’s veteran catches a flight to Riyadh. What are your thoughts? Do you see Digne joining Al Hilal? Tell us in the comments below.

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Written by:

Krishna Prasad M

745Articles

One take at a time

My journey as a sports aficionado was not colored by soccer initially. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, however, changed me, as I fell in love with the beautiful game. From cheering on Real Madrid to channeling an inner analyst with my pals during every other World Cup and kicking the ball timelessly, soccer is now a therapy for me with boundless conversations.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz

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