Everton

What does the future hold for Leighton Baines at Everton?

What does the future hold for Leighton Baines at Everton?

Everton went through a bit of a rebuild in the summer with the appointment of Marco Silva as manager and the arrival of a host of squad additions including that of Lucas Digne.

After Richarlison, Digne has probably been the summer signing to have made the biggest impact at Goodison Park, although Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes have yet to feature due to injury.

Nevertheless, Digne has shown a lot of promise in the fixtures he has played in and both his arrival and form looks to have spelt the end for Leighton Baines as Everton’s first-choice left-back — a position he has held down for years.

Silva and director of football Marcel Brands had made bringing in a long-term successor to the Englishman a key objective during the recent transfer window and completed the task by luring Digne from Barcelona to Goodison Park.

£7.2m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Baines will now likely have to settle for a role on the bench for the season and, with his contract set to expire next June, his future could lie away from Merseyside.

With that being said, the 33-year-old is still a very good player who the club should not be too quick to get rid of.

Baines is no longer as dominant on the left flank as he was when he was in his prime. However, the former Wigan man remains dangerous in attacking situations, still acting as another outlet in the final third for his team-mates, while most importantly he is still a capable defender.

Everything points towards Digne getting the nod in all of Everton’s important fixtures but, if Baines is content with having to settle for a deputy role that will see him reduced to only really starting games in cup competitions, then it is worth the Toffees handing him a contract extension.

Quite frankly, Baines still has too much to offer for Everton to discard him so easily and his services, therefore, should be retained beyond this season.

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