There’s no doubt that Baines is one of the best left backs in the country, undoubted in his position at Everton and regularly pushing Ashley Cole for a starting place in the England senior side.
Manchester United have always prided themselves on having some of the best young British talent around and the addition of Baines to the current squad would have its value although it’s not fundamentally needed.
Patrice Evra may be 32-years-old but he seems to be playing some of the best football that United fans have seen since he moved to the club.
The defensive side of his game seems to have improved massively from last season. He’s keeping the gap between himself and the centre backs very small, plus he’s not leaving himself so exposed out on the wing.
The attacking side of his game has always been very good but he looks like the best threat United have down the left side of their pitch at the moment, when he gets forward to provide an extra outlet for the midfield.
The problem with Baines’ arrival is that it would put pressure on Moyes to play the Everton man which would mean dropping Evra to the bench when he’s bang in form and at a crucial time when the biggest matches are coming thick and fast.
Baines would not move to Old Trafford on the basis that he’s going to be warming the bench until Evra makes a rare mistake and he has a chance to step in, especially during a World Cup year.
There are clear weaknesses to Evra’s game such as his lack of pace and the fact he’s a small guy, both of which were displayed during United’s Champions League defeat at the hands of Real Madrid last season.
However, his experience helps him modify his game to a point where he can still be effective and contribute to the Premier League champions when going forward and when staying back.
The issue Moyes seems to be trying to address is the back up he currently has to Evra which is stretched as he’s made it pretty clear that he doesn’t really believe too much in Alexander Buttner of Fabio’s ability to play at left back.
If Moyes’ thinking is that Baines will arrive initially as back up before eventually replacing Evra then his arrival is already completely covered with problems.
Baines’ pursuit would be much more understandable and realistic if Evra had retired or was carrying a constant injury problem, which required management.
If Evra stays fit then in current form, no player is going to remove him from his position in the United back four which means Baines could face a season on the bench if he does arrive.
Would do you make of the Baines pursuit? Do you feel bemused?
image: © ericthefish