Late last week, Alan Stubbs revealed in a speech at a Football Writers’ Association event that Leighton Baines had expressed a wish to join Manchester United in the summer. While those sentiments may be true, we have it on good authority that Leighton Baines was more than happy to remain at Everton and at no point did he consider pushing the club for a move.
“Bainesy was never really an option, the club had dug its heels in. Bainesy had obviously said he’d like to go.”
Baines was delighted with his brace in the weekends win over West Ham and was keen to make a point in his celebrations, with positive gestures to the adoring Evertonian public. A quite man on and off the pitch, Baines certainly does not seek the limelight, but let it be known to those who would listen that he hoped his two goal salvo would dampen any talk of a move away from Goodison Park.
Contract discussions are due to take place and Everton will be eager to tie up the Scouser to a new long-term contract ahead of the January window. Whether anyone would be prepared to match Everton’s valuation remains to be seen, but as David Moyes rightly pointed out during his time in charge of the Blues, “Everton don’t sell cheap”.
The two free kick strikes against West Ham were Baines’ 23rd and 24th goals for Everton, having played for the Blues on 251 occasions; he has a very healthy goal per game ratio of just under 1 every 10 games, certainly impressive for a full back. With a World Cup on the horizon, Baines will be eager to impress with Everton likely to benefit, especially if he continues in the same rich vein of form we witnessed at the weekend.