Everton and Marco Silva will have to do some decent left-back recruitment in the summer if they are to find a suitable backup option for Lucas Digne after Leighton Baines’s horrible performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
The 34-year-old, who was forced to start at left-back due to Digne’s suspension, was at fault for the opening goal of the game after he brought down Matt Doherty in the box.
Midfielder Ruben Neves stepped up and calmly slotted the penalty to send Nuno Espirito Santo’s men on their way to a 3-1 victory.
The poor challenge by Baines, though, was a big indication to Silva that the defender might not be up to standard any more to cope with the pressure of an attacking team like Wolves.
After conceding the penalty, Baines struggled to move forward on the left-flank and his deliveries from free-kicks were also far from accurate.
Ultimately, Silva didn’t really have any other option but to pick Baines for the encounter due to Digne’s absence, but the result and performance should definitely have the Everton recruitment staff drawing up plans to lure a young and energetic left-back to Goodison Park for next season.
The England international has spent most of the season on the bench for Silva, while Digne has been brilliant for the Toffees but a club of Everton’s stature should have a good second-option player in any position, who is capable of rising to the occasion and deliver a solid performance under tough circumstances.
Baines, unfortunately, struggled with that responsibility and despite being a stalwart for the club over the years, the time might soon come for him to move on.
If Everton were to build the perfect squad, that could pose a real challenge to the top six, then they will need to find alternative players, who could provide competition for the regular starters in the squad.
Baines failed to take up that opportunity on Saturday and it was no surprise that he substituted early in the second-half by Jonjoe Kenny. Once a respected Everton lieutenant, the former England man has become indicative of the club’s stagnation and now decline.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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