But there cant be any other winner between player and manager than the latter, unless the manager is teetering on the edge himself.
As was said elsewhere on the thread - if DCL was in the team Digne's contribution would be much more fruitful and we wouldn't be discussing him. I dont blame Benitez for wanting a more athletic player at FB in DCL's absence (and after we've seen the defence chasing forlornly after opposition attackers). IIRC he eventually settled on Johnson at Liverpool after trying players at FB who couldn't hack getting up and down the pitch. So this might be a long term plan - either with Godfrey or another of those types. I wouldn't mind seeing Digne playing further up the pitch (and maybe he's been asked already).
Hopefully this gets resolved and Digne stays.
...and wasn't getting in ahead of digne so opted for a loan. imo, it's a good call so he can get experience and come back to push digne.
as for us, we have digne, godfrey, holgate and delph who can all play in that position if necessary.
digne was awesome when he first came to us, but i don't think he's contributed as much offensively or defensively for a while (said with hindsight). could be a tactical change that doesn't suit his style of play, or could be a lack of application on his part, off-the-pitch issues, or residue from covid that we don't know about... the only people that know are him and the manager (and perhaps the medical staff).
what's perhaps more important is that benitez has evidently decided that he needed to be dropped (or maybe even gave him permission to go to paris but doesn't want to publicise the reason) for the last game, and godfrey's gone and stepped in really well. imo, the team who finished the last game should probably start the next one given the result.
if benitez's tactics aren't to digne's taste, then arguably we're better off selling him and buying someone who is no matter how good the player. take rodriguez - sublime talent, but you don't want him on your wage bill when he doesn't actually get onto the pitch for whatever reason. i think that's a sensible stance to take on any of our players, because we certainly don't have the money to waste on someone who won't give the kind of performance that the manager wants.