After the signing of Lucas Digne in the summer, Leighton Baines has gone on to lose his starting spot in the Everton team to the French left-back.
Manager Marco Silva, however, has not ruled out the possibility of finding a new role in the side for the 34-year-old.
When put to him that former Everton boss Roberto Martinez believed Baines was capable of emulating Bayern Munich legend Philip Lahm by becoming a midfielder after years of playing in defence, Silva told the Liverpool Echo: “It is possible. When Roberto told you that, what I can tell you is that you are talking about a player with fantastic individual qualities.
“His passing, his last decision, his crossing is amazing and it could be. To be honest, it is not something I have spoken to him about but it could be something that happens in the future.”
Technically, £7.2m-rated (Transfermarkt) Baines certainly has the tools to play higher up the pitch, which is something Silva appears to be considering going forward.
However, looking at what the Portuguese coach has at his disposal, using Baines anywhere other than left-back seems unnecessary.
In this moment of time, the Toffees are blessed with options in midfield and out wide after a very productive summer transfer window.
With that in mind and factoring in how well Digne has played since his arrival from Barcelona, Baines’ Everton career looks all but over despite Silva’s recent comments.