Why Leighton Baines would add a new aura to Manchester United

Baines Penalty

According to James Ducker of The Times, Manchester United have tabled a £10m bid for left-back Leighton Baines - which has since been rejected by Everton.

Incoming manager David Moyes has worked with Baines for over six years and it doesn't come as a surprise to see the Scot trying to purchase the England international for his new club.

Baines has been the most consistent full-back in the Premier League over the past two seasons. He is a reliable performer at both ends of the pitch and also provides a major set-piece threat.

At Everton, Moyes play was mainly centered on Baines. With the left-winger drifting in on a continual basis, the 50-year-old relied on the full-back providing the width and creativity from the flank.

Baines didn't disappoint in this segment, creating 116 chances throughout the term (highest in the league) and 42% of the Toffees' attacks come from his side of the pitch.

On the defensive front, Baines had a decent output, averaging 2.4 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game.

As United have been traditionally known for their wing-play, the 28-year-old can be a great asset to the team. He can provide pin-point crosses for the strikers and also produce elegant link-up plays with the left-winger, be it Ashley Young or Wilfried Zaha.

Although Patrice Evra had a solid 2012/13 season, he can be a massive liability at the back.

The France international might be excellent while going forward, but he doesn’t track back in time to defend. The 32-year-old's pace is gradually waning and, he’s becoming more and more lethargic when it comes to doing the donkey defensive work.

Moyes has always preferred players with a high work ethic and defensive commitments. Hence, Everton had the fourth best defensive record in the league last season. United's defense, on the other hand, was a laughing-stock during the first-half of the season and Evra can be largely blamed for that.

Baines arrival will provide a new aura of defensive stability to United's play. The Old Trafford faithful might prefer Evra instead of Baines, but the truth is, the latter is at present miles ahead of his counterpart.

With the possible acquisition of Ezequiel Garay, the Red Devils will begin the season with a composed back-four and it's good to Moyes is rectifying those areas at United, which actually need improvement.

image: © ericthefish

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