By Football Insider speaking to Kevin Campbell

31st Jul, 2020 | 3:24pm

'A shame to see' - Exclusive: Bruce claims player has left Everton with big hole

Departing Everton defender Leighton Baines will take “some replacing” at Goodison Park, according to Alex Bruce. 

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Premier League defender insisted he’s been a “wonderful servant to the Premier League.”

The 35-year-old announced his retirement from the professional game earlier this week after 13 years on Merseyside.

And Bruce, who played against the former England international several times during his career, heaped praise on the ex-defender.

“Unfortunately for Leighton he’s got to that age, it creeps up on all of us,” Bruce told Football Insider

“It’s just a shame to see that, he’s been a great player over the years for both Everton and England.

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“He’s been a fantastic left back and had a fabulous career and he’s certainly bowed out with his head held hight.

“He’s been a wonderful servant to the Premier League and I wish him well in his retirement.  

“Obviously we know over the years that left backs are difficult to find and few and far between. He’ll take some replacing that’s for sure because he’s been such a fantastic servant.”

Baines was signed by David Moyes for £6.75 million in 2007, after an impressive spell at Wigan Athletic.

The full-back registered 420 outings for the Toffees, scoring an impressive 39 goals and assisting 67 others, during his time at Everton he became renowned for his set-piece delivery, with many of his goal contributions coming from dead balls.

Baines started for Everton in the 2009 FA Cup final, but silverware eluded him as strikes from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard saw Chelsea triumph 2-1.

In other Everton news, it can be REVEALED that a big-money Toffees deal is on the brink of collapse.

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