Leighton Baines has been given a vote of confidence should he be thinking of extending his playing days with Carlo Ancelotti expressing the desire to offer him a new contract.
The 35-year-old's latest one-year extension expires at the end of this season but, having been forced to play second fiddle to Lucas Digne for long stretches of the season, Baines has been in sparkling form as the Frenchman's deputy in the last two games.
That, combined with his good form in December when he again stepped in for Digne and scored a stunning goal in the League Cup quarter-final against Leicester, has shown the management enough that he is still more than capable of of performing at the top level.
Ancelotti admitted that the decision was up to the player but told evertonfc.com:
"Our idea, the idea of the club, is, ‘Don't stop playing, stay with us for the next year'. We would like to keep him and are going to talk with him.
“It would be good for us if he can stay. Physically, he has no problem.
“It [Baines remaining beyond this season] depends on what he is thinking and whether he wants to continue.
“I think he wants to continue but it is his decision.”
Reader Comments (51)
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1 Posted 05/03/2020 at 20:02:51
I don't know enough about the youth players, is there a decent candidate coming through?
2 Posted 05/03/2020 at 20:08:55
3 Posted 05/03/2020 at 20:09:48
poviding Leighton can keep up his fitness and stay injury-free, then he would be ideal cover.
4 Posted 05/03/2020 at 20:20:34
5 Posted 05/03/2020 at 20:28:33
The few games Baines has played this season proves he's worthy of a new deal... in fact, I would go as far as to say he's been better than Digne.
7 Posted 05/03/2020 at 20:52:20
8 Posted 05/03/2020 at 20:59:55
9 Posted 05/03/2020 at 21:02:15
10 Posted 05/03/2020 at 21:14:33
11 Posted 05/03/2020 at 21:18:05
12 Posted 05/03/2020 at 22:06:08
13 Posted 05/03/2020 at 22:11:35
Don Carlo knows. If Baines is good enough for Don Carlo, then that's sound. Don Ancelotti will invest intelligently in his 1st team squad, but, within FFP limits.
Keeping Leighton for 12 months is a very clever move, no increased expense to retain an intelligent, quality, trouble-free Evertonian.
Will Baines be first choice? No. Will he be on more money? No. Does he need to "settle in"? No.
Another year of Baines allows more "Everton Stock" to mature.
Two years ago, Calvert-Lewin & Holgate weren't ready, look at how they are progressing now. Other areas need more attention, both as first & second choice. Spend there and spend wisely. Leighton is not a risky choice. Make a condition that he "does his badges", because Baines has the brains.
15 Posted 05/03/2020 at 22:46:38
17 Posted 05/03/2020 at 22:55:25
Age will always catch up with you. If we don't have an understudy for Digne then I am good with this.
18 Posted 05/03/2020 at 23:02:54
Nice little link here re players' initials and their positions:
19 Posted 05/03/2020 at 23:13:51
20 Posted 05/03/2020 at 23:18:16
Do you wear ragged trousers? Or just a bit of a philanthropist?
21 Posted 05/03/2020 at 23:24:41
22 Posted 05/03/2020 at 00:12:49
23 Posted 06/03/2020 at 05:34:48
24 Posted 06/03/2020 at 08:10:44
26 Posted 06/03/2020 at 08:42:49
In the days when a player needed to buy a business (pubs and sweet shops were favoured) or get a job for which they had no training or experience when their playing days were over the testimonial gave a long serving player a financial boost at the end of his playing career. It was the same with the county cricket benefit year.
These days, when a player needs one 5-year contract with any Premier League or Championship club to have more money than most of us will earn in a lifetime, the idea that they would be destitute without the boost of a pot of money donated by people on normal incomes is ridiculous.
More recently, players have had testimonials and donated the money to a charity. Frankly, if they want to help a charity, they have the means to do that without bringing in funds from other people.
There is the argument that a testimonial is a chance for the supporters to give a send-off to a long-serving player. I get this but, even with some of the best 'club men', and Jagielka and Baines certainly fall into this category, a 'friendly' low-key game may not provide much more or a send-off than an end of season lap of honour.
27 Posted 06/03/2020 at 08:52:17
28 Posted 06/03/2020 at 09:21:37
29 Posted 06/03/2020 at 09:36:13
31 Posted 06/03/2020 at 09:39:05
In the never-ending churn of players though, we must still look to the future. Assuming Digne and Baines are our 1st and 2nd choice next season, I'd still like 2 young talents coming through. Having 2 young lads would allow for us to alternate loans between them. One stays as 3rd choice playing in the Under-23s while the other is getting valuable experience in the lower leagues. After a few months they swap positions, always keeping 3 left-backs at Everton and a player getting game time.
I don't know enough about our youth setup to know if we already have them. If not, Baines staying as cover allows us to take a calculated risk. Instead of 㾶million on a ready-made cover (who is there good enough to play and willing enough not to play?), we can look at younger prospects for a fraction of the price.
Only my (obviously quite rambling) thoughts on the situation.
32 Posted 06/03/2020 at 09:51:21
“Not good enoughâ€
“We need to be more ruthlessâ€
“We can't keep giving contracts on sentimentâ€
“Kenwrights fault â€“ it's his old boys brigadeâ€
What a difference a year and a few decent performances make!!
I hope he starts his coaching badges and starts to work with some of the youngsters. Imagine how much harder a young Evertonian would work to impress Baines.
Goal vs Leicester for goal of the season??
33 Posted 06/03/2020 at 10:05:33
He must be a dedicated trainer as most in their later years tend to taper off a bit in terms of stamina and speed. Comforting to know that, should he re-sign, we have a more than capable deputy.
Still a bit bewildered as to why we let Antonee Robinson go for buttons, but I appreciate we can't keep hold of everyone> At least get a decent fee for him, he was an International too.
Robert @27, then must be Philanthro, or permanently pissed! :-)
34 Posted 06/03/2020 at 10:09:42
35 Posted 06/03/2020 at 10:12:16
36 Posted 06/03/2020 at 10:26:42
Every close season we get back about half a dozen players that I thought left years ago. I think Brands has got the wrong end of the stick with this 'Once an Evertonianâ€¦..' thing.
37 Posted 06/03/2020 at 10:40:04
38 Posted 06/03/2020 at 11:04:58
Okay, he's lost a little pace, but he's still a good player.
And it saves money, which we need for other positions.
39 Posted 06/03/2020 at 11:27:29
40 Posted 06/03/2020 at 13:37:20
He is a level-headed humble, intelligent lad and, most important of all, a Pink Floyd fan, that's enough for me!
We Wish You Were Here so Sign On, You Crazy Diamond at the Dogs of War no matter Wots uh the deal you will make lots of Money in a short Time, and curl Another kick around the Wall against the Animals One of these Days.... Okay, I'd better get back to work here comes the boss* ... beside, I am Lost for words!!
*Not a PF song
41 Posted 06/03/2020 at 13:38:17
I did not like the sale of Robinson, a good player, for a low figure, which proved to be a bargain, given the transfer deal that was nearly clinched this Summer for him. Baines has played well, but was injured early in the season and was not available for selection, which was a bit of a dampener.
Ancelotti's approach is increasingly becoming long-term as it becomes apparent that Everton needs a lot of sorting out. Because of previous regime muck-ups, progress is constrained.
Ancelotti is probably biding his time, since the left-back position is covered and there are other priorities.
42 Posted 06/03/2020 at 14:03:49
43 Posted 06/03/2020 at 14:08:39
Seamus out, will look at things in a couple of games.
Digne good to play.
Tosun will be treated back at Finch Farm.
Laughs off FA fine.
Pleased Mason signed a contract extension - 'he is the future of the club. We also need DCL and hope he signs soon. They are talking. It is very close.'
There is a possibility to retain Leighton for next season. 'Fantastic attitude. Good for us on and off the pitch'.
Focus on the now, not summer signings.
Wants to improve our poor record away to top teams.
Spoke glowingly of the club, the facilities, the city. 'I went to the beach on Monday. It was fantastic! The sun is out today, we could go to the beach instead of sitting here!'
Fighting talk on the progress of the team: 'We have a mix of young and more experienced players. We are not yet a top team, but I'm sure we can be. And it won't take long to be a top team.'
All very upbeat.
44 Posted 06/03/2020 at 14:09:35
I kind of miss the testimonials. Lots of clubs probably skip them because they are in these lucrative summer tournaments. But Everton always seem to throw pre-season together with the same level of planning as me rounding up a few mates for a kick about. Maybe Baines, Garbutt, Charsley, etc could organize something better and raise a few quid for charity.
45 Posted 06/03/2020 at 15:08:02
46 Posted 06/03/2020 at 15:36:08
I should imagine Baines will again be offered a big contract, albeit for one season. I'd have preferred to have let Lewis Gibson be his understudy. He's one with a big future and can also play left-back besides being a left-footed centre-back.
47 Posted 06/03/2020 at 15:59:15
48 Posted 06/03/2020 at 16:33:25
49 Posted 06/03/2020 at 17:21:47
50 Posted 06/03/2020 at 17:38:44
51 Posted 06/03/2020 at 18:06:21
52 Posted 06/03/2020 at 18:21:13
53 Posted 06/03/2020 at 18:24:36
Ken@7: After Wilson, I'd put Baines on a par with Keith Newton.
54 Posted 06/03/2020 at 19:20:52
Baines and Jagileka would be well chuffed to have a testimonial. The last one was for Big Dunc in 2015 and I'm certain it's a big loss to Everton in the Community, Alder Hey, Marie Curie and a lot more charities that benefit from these games.
Both players and fans love to participate in giving to the nominated charities. There wouldn't be any problem fitting in such games, in close season.
55 Posted 07/03/2020 at 21:10:59
56 Posted 08/03/2020 at 14:05:07
He's possibly the best 'back up' left back around along with Milner. Reliable and experienced.
It's about the now, rather than loooking 5 years ahead all the time. Youth development is important and can lead to finding a gem every now and then.
But our best youngsters get bought and we have to start again without ever getting the best out of the players or team.
Or.. as in Robinsons case, a recent international, he gets sold off quickly and cheaply and a few months later is wanted by champions league teams for big bucks, doh!
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