By Noel Whelan

28th Nov, 2020 | 11:00am

'Massive' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts to early Everton team news pre-Leeds clash

Everton losing Lucas Digne to injury is a “really good bit of luck” for Leeds United ahead of Saturday’s game, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds striker and boyhood fan of the Whites, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insisted the 27-year-old’s injury would be a “massive” blow for the Toffees

As confirmed by the Toffees on Thursday, the left-back suffered ankle ligament damage in training to rule him out of Saturday’s game.

The France international is set to undergo surgery on Monday and, as confirmed by Carlo Ancelotti at his press conference, will be out for two to three months.

Whelan insisted the defender would be a huge loss for Everton but admitted he sees it as good news for Leeds.

Whelan told Football Insider: “Yeah, massive, massive blow for them but a really good bit of luck for Leeds because he’s a fantastic fullback.

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“Not only the quality, we saw him set up two goals last week, he gets up and down that box to box, he’s a set-piece specialist as well so yeah, that will disrupt a little bit of the balance down that left-hand side.

“Hopefully Raphinha or one of the wingers can take advantage of that. It’s a setback for them, but they’ve got a very very strong squad.”

Digne has started all but one of Everton’s Premier League games this season but was suspended for the 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United.

Niels Nkounkou and Fabian Delph are the two players likely to be in the running to take the Frenchman’s place in the starting XI.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites have been tipped to battle Everton to sign 23-year-old.