Everton

Why The Time Is Right For Leighton Baines To Make A Move

The days of Leighton Baines in an Everton shirt could be numbered. After several impressive seasons for the People’s Club, the former Wigan player could be on the move this summer.

According to a report by the Metro both Manchester United and Bayern Munich are interested in obtaining the services of the player. Both teams need to fill the left back position and see Baines as the ideal candidate, with Bayern failing in a bid around 2 years ago whilst Manchester United have been making plans for an approach this summer. Although a price tag of £5 million was originally mooted, Everton are now thought to have put his value up to the £15 million mark.

Needless to say the competition between these two rivals should ensure a bidding war. Both sides have expressed their desire to fill the position with Sir Alex looking to find an alternative to Patrice Evra (with talents such as Fabio and Rafael continue to develop) whilst Jupp Heynckes seeks a defender like his captain Philipp Lahm to shore up the left side of his defence.

Such market demand could pave the perfect path for Baines, who at 27 is not getting any younger. The left back has only made a handful of appearances for his country, something that he would surely like to turn around. In fact such a big move could propel him upward in the England depth chart behind an aging Ashley Cole.

Furthermore despite performing well with Everton, Baines has yet to win major honours as a player, domestic or European. A transfer to Manchester United puts him in a squad contending for the title and Champions League whilst Bayern have reached the European final this season and can only look to improve. The opportunity for silverware could be too much for the Kirkby lad to turn down.

One worry on the mind of Baines may be playing time.  Although Evra is getting older he still is only 30 and his leadership is an important part of Sir Alex’s side. Baines may take on the role of replacement/alternative should be make the quick journey down the East Lancs Road.

If he chooses Germany Baines would certainly have seniority at the position yet he could face some challenges whilst he adapts to the Bundesliga. The youth of Holger Badstuber and Diego Contento could be the future of the Munich side and Heynckes will be keen to integrate both players into the team. In addition, the summer purchase of right back Rafinha led to captain Lahm moving over to his preferred left hand side. Leighton may have a tough time fighting for his position against the Bayern captain and Germany regular.

The idea of a transfer must be attractive to Leighton Baines this summer. Prospects of winning medals at the peak of his career coupled with Champions League football (and potentially Bundelisga experience) must be appealing for the Merseyside local. With United and Bayern playing in four competitions his playing time would not be vastly reduced either.

All these factors make Baines’ decision a difficult one. Yet this opportunity may never come again and at this moment in time United or Bayern would simply be too good an offer to refuse. However one things for sure – David Moyes and Goodison Park will surely miss their local hero

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