While Leighton Baines may have lost his spot in Everton’s starting XI to Lucas Digne this season, the 34-year-old has still been a fantastic servant for the Merseyside club down the years.
In fact, at the £6.75m (Transfermarkt) David Moyes got the Toffees to pay Wigan back in 2007 for Baines, the Englishman has to go down as one of the greatest bargains the Premier League era has ever seen.
In his peak, there were few more complete full-backs playing in English football’s top flight.
On top of being a competent defender, going forward, Baines could be devastating as he dominated that left flank.
His delivery, still to this day, is probably better than most wingers. At 34, Baines can obviously no longer boss that left-hand side for 90 minutes like he used to.
But with that threat from wide areas and set pieces and his adequate level of defending, the England international is still a useful player to keep around.
In this moment of time, Digne has to be Marco Silva’s undisputed first-choice left-back with the Frenchman impressing since joining from Barcelona last summer.
However, Baines, a loyal servant to the club, should not be discarded so easily just because of that. If he is content with only having a cover role in the squad, Silva would be wise to take advantage of that. The Portuguese coach will find it difficult to find better cover for Digne.
In recent transfer windows, Everton have spent a lot of money. But looking at what they paid for Baines, it shows that if the Merseyside club search in the right places, there are bargains out there.
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