'Absolutely brilliant decision' - Exclusive: Darren Bent raves at Everton player report
Darren Bent has been left raving after hearing Everton have offered Leighton Baines a one-year contract extension.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aston Villa and England striker insists that the 35-year-old’s experience at Goodison Park is priceless.
As reported by the BBC, Everton have offered the left-back a one-year deal to stay on Merseyside, with his current terms set to expire this summer.
Bent believes it is crucial that players like Baines, who has been at Everton since 2007, are kept around to impart their knowledge and experience on the rest of the squad and youth prospects.
Bent told Football Insider: “Baines is an old-school statesman down there, he’s been there years and years. He’s been captain, knows the club better than anyone and you need that experience, you can’t just let all that experience go out.
“He will have seen Everton at their lowest, he will have seen them when they’ve had good times in the different seasons so you need people like that who are around, who knows how to deal with the situation.
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“He’s been a top pro, a top professional for years and arguably he’s been one of the best British left-backs in this country for the last 10 years – unfortunately he’s had Ashley Cole ahead of him.
“It’s an absolutely brilliant decision and I hope he takes the one year. It’s really important for the generation coming up behind him that someone like that stays.”
Baines has 417 appearances under his belt for the Toffees, with 39 goals and 67 assists to add to his record.
However, he has acted as backup for manager Carlo Ancelotti this season, playing just six times across all competitions.