Digne looking forward to Salah challenge in Merseyside derby

The Everton left-back says he moved to England to face the best, and is looking forward to facing his former Roma team-mate Sunday

Everton left-back Lucas Digne is looking forward to facing off against his old team-mate Mohamed Salah in the latest edition of the Merseyside derby Sunday.

Digne and Salah both played together with Roma in 2015-16, as the Frenchman was on loan from Paris Saint-Germain at the time and Salah was in his first of two seasons with the capital club.

The defender would go on to join Barcelona for the following two seasons, while Salah would move to Liverpool in the summer of 2017 and have a record-setting debut season at Anfield.

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While Salah has not quite reached the heights of last season, he has remained a formidable threat, with seven goals in Liverpool’s 13 Premier League games.

But Digne is not worried about matching up against his old team-mate, instead relishing the type of challenge he was looking for when he moved to the Premier League from the La Liga champions over the summer.

“I know Mohamed Salah because I played one year with him in Rome,” Digne told reporters. “He’s a very good guy and a very good player, but you play football to play against the big players, against Messi, against Neymar.

“I play football to play against the biggest players in the world and I came to England to play against the best strikers because, for me, the best football is in the Premier League.

“When you play in the big games, it’s a very good thing for you as a player.

“I play every game the same. I’m a defender and it’s down to the team. We work together and it’s not down to one player or two players. It’s down to the team and we need to work together.”

Everton face a major challenge against their rivals, looking to break two painful droughts when the sides clash at Anfield.

The Toffees are winless in their last 17 Merseyside derbies, dating back to 2010.

At Anfield the stats are even uglier, as Everton have not managed a win in 19 years.

Everton manager Marco Silva claimed his side would not be afraid of the Reds and Digne echoed those statements, emphasising his side can change the course of affairs with a single performance.”

“The stats are here to change,” Digne said. “Maybe you can lose for one year, two years or three years, and the fourth you win and the stat is finished.

“Football is like this and we need to change the past. We want to change and we want to win.

“Liverpool play well now, but we play well too. We have a good mentality too and we work hard every week. I think we can change something. We have the mentality to win every game.

“We went to Chelsea to win and proved we can win. We played well, we drew — it was a good result because Chelsea were unbeaten.

“Before we played against Man [United], we played well before the referee made, for me, a mistake. It’s football.

“We play well against great teams and I think it’s big game this weekend and we do the same like always.”