It has been rumoured for some time that Leighton Baines is wanted by Manchester United. Over the last week the rumours have multiplied and some say a deal is in the balance. Patrice Evra has not had a great season and his form has been inconsistent, especially towards the end of the season, when we really wanted his form to be top-notch. It could be down to the fact that there is no other left-back in the current squad that has the same level of experience. We have Fabio, but Sir Alex Ferguson wants to loan him out next season, so he can gain some first team experience.
This should show that Sir Alex Ferguson has a plan but it may be some time before that actually takes effect with the squad. What we need right now is some cover for Patrice Evra, and possibly a replacement until Fabio is ready to take that role permanently. His twin, Rafael seems a little more settled taking the right-back position, having one of the highest defensive tackle success rates in the league, although the errors he has made this season will be a learning curve for him. Everyone makes mistakes and some learn from them.
I feel that 27-year-old Baines would be at an ideal age to be brought into the squad. He still has a few years in him and it will enable Fabio to have the time to thrust himself into the first team in the future. Baines could also be used at the club as a rotation player and backup until he retires or wants to leave.
The only thing that worries me is the fee. I don’t think we should pay anymore than £10m-£12m for Baines, but Everton chief Bill Kenwright seems to want nearer £15m for him, well that is what the rumours state anyway. At the right price for United, it will be a good deal.
Here is a bit of information on Leighton Baines;
WIGAN ATHLETIC 2002-2007
EVERTON 2007 – PRESENT
Leighton Baines has also had a few caps for England and has been named in the Euro 2012 squad.
Here is a list of the honours Leighton has won both for club and individually;
HONOURS – CLUB
FOOTBALL LEAGUE SECOND DIVISION – WINNERS
FOOTBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP – RUNNERS-UP
FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP – RUNNERS-UP
FA CUP – RUNNERS-UP
HONOURS – INDIVIDUAL
2009/10 & 2010/11
EVERTON PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR
EVERTON PLAYER OF THE SEASON
EVERTON GOAL FO THE SEASON (V CHELSEA FA CUP 4TH ROUND)
DEC 2010 & DEC 2011
EVERTON PLAYER OF THE MONTH
PFA PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE YEAR
Here is a video of Leighton Baines in action, courtesy of YouTube user ‘LiamEFC’.
By Paul Bienkowski