Everton star Baines would be mad to join Manchester United if...

Baines Penalty

... he wants to stay the starting left-back for England.

This week has again seen Manchester United make a move for Everton duo Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini.

The interest in the Merseyside club’s star duo is of course no surprise. As David Moyes was such an avid fan of both players during his time as Toffees boss - it was simply natural for him to consider a move to bring them both with him to Old Trafford.

While I would not be surprised to see Fellaini depart, he has made his dreams of Champions League football very clear, I cannot say I feel the same about Baines.

Baines has now been, arguably, the most consistent left-back in the Premier League for the last two seasons. Not only has he been consistent, but he has been deadly as well. One of the best deliveries in world football comes from that left boot of his, as well as his ability from dead-ball situations.

And now, after two years of plugging away at Goodison Park, it appears as if he has finally earned the opportunity to be the first-choice left-back for England.

Ashley Cole has long held the position, but with his advancing years Roy Hodgson must consider what happens post-Cole era - and for now it appears that Baines will be the immediate successor.

Sure the chance for the likes of Danny Rose, Kieran Gibbs or Luke Shaw to take the mantle long-term will not be distant in the future - but for now Baines is the best English left-back on offer.

If he goes to Manchester United, like it or not, he is going into direct competition with the club's vice-captain Patrice Evra.

A regular in the role for many years now, he will not simply lie down and allow Baines to take his place.

One bad performance and Baines finds himself usurped by the French international, who will not be giving the slot back without a fight.

That would leave Baines on the bench, likely for both club and country.

If Baines wants desperately, like Fellaini, to play Champions League football then he should force the move - and good luck to him. He has been an excellent servant for Everton Football Club and they will move on in time.

But if it means more to him to start for England then it is a no-brainer - Goodison remains the place to be.

image: © ericthefish

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