Leighton Baines still has some use but surely this must be his final season at Goodison Park as the Toffees look to usher in their next batch of talent.
It’s been 12 long years since Everton signed Leighton Baines from Wigan Athletic. Yet, at 34-years-old, the club expect (as per the Liverpool Echo) him to put pen-to-paper on a fresh contract keeping him at Goodison Park for a further 12 months.
Whether or not this move makes sense remains to be seen. Marco Silva, who is gearing up for his second season in charge of the Toffees, is reportedly keen on keeping Baines as back up to the dynamic Lucas Digne, after the Frenchman impressed last season and quickly established himself as Everton’s first choice left-back following his summer arrival from Barcelona.
While keeping Baines doesn’t necessarily make sense from a performance point of view, as the Englishman is past his prime now, it has its merits in other aspects of the game. Namely, filling the void left by experienced centre back and long-term Everton servant Phil Jagielka, who is set to leave the club imminently after 12 years, and mentoring the future generation of Everton stars for one more year before passing on the baton to the next in line, Digne and Antonee Robinson.
Unfortunately, Robinson – having spent a season at Wigan Athletic, where he clearly impressed if the tweet below is anything to go off – looks all the more likely to be sent out on loan once more following the news.
I’d like to say a big thanks to the players, staff, and especially the fans for what’s been a very enjoyable season. Plenty of ups and downs and lessons learned but I’ve really enjoyed my time here pic.twitter.com/vxQk2fybUd
— Antonee robinson (@Antonee_Jedi) May 6, 2019
The United States of America international recently revealed to Wigan Today: “The next goal for me is to kick on towards the Everton first-team.
“I’ll be going back for pre-season fighting fit and raring to go.
“The manager’s been in touch with me, he keeps telling me what I need to work on and stuff.
“He’s been pleased with me for what I’ve done this season, so I don’t see why he wouldn’t give me a chance next season.”
Surely it’s time to look towards the future and usher in the youngster once this season is complete. A popular figure amongst the Everton faithful but this has to be the beginning of the end of Leighton Baines at the football club.
Everton fans, do you agree that this is the beginning of the end for Baines? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!