Digne fell out with Benitez at Everton and was frozen out of the team before he eventually left the club for Aston Villa in the January transfer window.


The Frenchman had major disagreements with Benitez over tactics and he conceded that being frozen out of the squad for a month was a hard time in his career.



The defender told French sports daily L’Equipe: “When you are part of the squad, there are discussions with the coach, but the relationship we had was not good.


“It was complicated to be excluded from the group for a month. It was an unprecedented situation in my career.



“But I had my family and team-mates with me.”


Digne stressed that he never asked to leave Everton and claimed that Benitez said that to protect himself.



He insisted that most of the dressing room agreed with him when it comes to problems with Benitez’s defensive style and stressed that the players agreed that they had more talent to play with possession.


The defender also denied getting into a bust-up with Benitez, but pointed out that the way things unravelled at Everton for the Spaniard showed that he was right all along about the former Toffees boss and that his style never suited the Merseyside club.


“It was a way to protect himself. I never asked to leave. People who know me at that club know that everything was going well.


“[We had disagreements] in relation to the style of play, especially.


“I thought we had a team that could have done a lot more in possession, which we had the quality to.


“He asked me the question, I gave him the answer.”


Digne added: “No [I never had a bust-up with Benitez], and that will never happen with me.


“I know where my place is, it felt right to talk about my feelings and those of the other players in the dressing room.


“The group was unanimous.


“The sequence of events proved me right since he was fired because of poor results.


“I think he also had a bad philosophy. It didn’t stick with Everton.”


Everton are still trying to recover from Benitez’s reign and remain in the relegation dogfight under his successor Frank Lampard.