Leighton Baines could be set to make the bench for Everton against Aston Villa, as suggested in a report from The Liverpool Echo.
Marco Silva put out a very attacking bench during the 1-0 win against Watford, with Mason Holgate the only defender included, though he has since acknowledged that was a risk.
The manager has confirmed his preference is to have a full-back on the bench as well as a centre-back, which the outlet believes indicates Baines could be part of the squad.
Baines has missed both of Everton’s opening two games of the season, but is now in contention for a place in the squad having recovered from a thigh injury.
However, it is unlikely he will be able to force his way past Lucas Digne and into the team, as signified by the fact that the 34-year-old only managed five starts and one substitute appearance last season, as per WhoScored, while Digne started 33 times and came off the bench once.
Despite the limited game time, Baines did highlight that he can still be of use, making 1.3 tackles and 1.2 clearances per game, while he also averaged 0.7 key passes and maintained a pass success rate of 82.2%.
While Baines won’t be a starting option due to Digne standing in his way, the 34-year-old can certainly be a useful player to have on the bench.
It is likely Silva will end up choosing between Baines and Djibril Sidibe as to who will be used as a substitute for the game.
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