'I talked to someone who knows him well' - Exclusive: Pundit reacts to huge Everton news
Michael Brown admits he is not sure whether Leighton Baines will remain at Everton as a coach after he announced his retirement as a player.
The former Premier League midfielder, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has applauded the 35-year-old for his decision not to spend another year warming the bench at Goodison Park.
Following their season-closing defeat to Bournemouth, Everton confirmed that the 35-year-old had made the decision to hang up his boots after 13 years with the club.
🔵 | Leighton Baines has announced his retirement from football.
Thank you for everything, Leighton. 💙 pic.twitter.com/mhYYWiPHHB
— Everton (@Everton) July 26, 2020
Everton had previously revealed they had tabled the defender a new one-year contract to remain as part of Carlo Ancelotti’s squad and the Italian coach has confirmed he wants Baines to take an off-field role.
Brown admits he is not sure whether the former Wigan ace will take on a coaching role but insists he still has his part to play with the Toffees.
Brown told Football Insider: “I was surprised at Bainsey, I talked to someone that knows him well and they sort of said: ‘He’s sat there and ultimately he wants to play’.
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“He could sit there for a whole season and train but he’s got that respect for Everton that he’s not just going to take a deal and sit around so you’ve got to really respect him.
“He’s got a great affinity with Everton and hopefully now the supporters will be able to see him in much more of an ambassador role, a coaching role hopefully.
“He’s got great experience but I’m not sure how much I see him going fully down that coaching role but I certainly see him being involved at Everton for many years.”
Baines made 420 appearances for Everton during his time on Merseyside and also picked up 30 caps for England.
However, he featured just eight times during the 2019/20 season as he found himself behind Lucas Digne in the pecking order.
In other Everton news, a Football Insider pundit believes a 22-year-old could lead an exodus of players this summer.
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