Everton need a new left-back but must not let Baines exit despite reported interest - opinion
Everton need to sign a new left-back this summer but they would be fools to let Leighton Baines exit the club as he is still a valuable member of the squad.
The Daily Mail report that the Toffees are actively searching for a replacement for their 33-year-old left-back in this window but worryingly report that Baines could be set to leave Goodison Park.
According to the national newspaper, the Toffees veteran is attracting interest from the MLS with Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union both keen on his services.
While a long-term replacement for Baines should be welcomed in this window it would be a huge loss to the club if they said farewell to Baines and instantly replaced him in their first team.
The left-back may have struggled in the first-half of the 2017/18 campaign as age seemed to have finally caught up with him but once he returned from injury in 2018, he was putting in some impressive displays.
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Baines ending up making 29 appearances in his latest season and there was no reason to suggest when it was all said and done that the club needed to bin their loyal servant in order to progress towards achieving their lofty ambitions.
However it was clear that the Toffees needed to sign another left-back as Baines was the only player capable of naturally playing in that position and when he was out injured, the club struggled.
The 33-year-old’s Goodison career may be closer to the end than it’s beginning but given his ability to still put in decent displays, his passion for the club and his vast experience in the Premier League, he still has a job to do for the Toffees in their 2018/19 campaign.
So if Marco Silva opts to allow Baines to go to the MLS it will be a huge loss to the club and could have devastating consequence as the Toffees will struggle to find player like him in the transfer market.
In other Everton news, they must abandon their £40m pursuit and turn their attention to a Championship flyer.