By Noel Whelan

12th Jan, 2022 | 9:21am

Everton close in on another 'brilliant' signing after Digne deal agreed - Whelan

The arrival of Anwar El Ghazi could “soften the blow” of Lucas Digne’s Everton exit, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 26-year-old attacker is a “fantastic player” when “on his day”.

This site exclusively revealed on Monday (10 January) that Everton have accepted a bid of £22million from Aston Villa for Digne, with the France international free to complete a medical.

A Villa source has told Football Insider today the transfer is not yet complete because Everton have made a separate approach for out-of-favour winger El Ghazi.

Football Insider first revealed on 29 November that the Holland international is one of three attackers Villa will listen to offers for this month, along with Bertrand Traore and Trezeguet the others.

Whelan suggested El Ghazi could “reignite his career” at Goodison Park.

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“That is something that could soften the blow of Lucas Digne leaving,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“It works out well for Everton to bring a player in after losing one, and it’s probably a selling point in the deal for both teams.

“It also gives El Ghazi that opportunity to reignite his career, because we know that on his day, he’s a brilliant player. He can be a real handful for any full-back.

“We’ll have to watch this space, but it certainly makes sense for both clubs. It’ll help Everton because they’ve had some real injury worries.”

El Ghazi is yet to start a Premier League game for Aston Villa since Steven Gerrard took the reins in November.

Everton sit a lowly 15th in the top flight – just eight points clear of the drop zone.

They have already completed the signings this month of full-back duo Nathan Patterson and Vitaliy Mykolenko.

In other news, mystery Premier League club joins race to sign Everton defender.