Leighton Baines won’t last forever but is RB Leipzig’s Marcel Halstenberg really the ideal replacement for Everton’s number three?
With Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg almost gossip column ever-presents, it’s about time their hitherto unheralded RB Leipzig team-mate Marcel Halstenberg got the attention he deserves.
The 26-year-old left-back has been one of Leipzig’s most consistent performers since their promotion in 2016/17, taking like a duck to water in the top flight and helping Ralf Hassenhutl’s side cap their debut Bundesliga season with a stunning second-place finish.
Halstenberg was rewarded with a maiden call-up for the Germany national side ahead of their friendly clash with England at Wembley last week.
And, just to cap a stunning rise, The Mail is now reporting that Everton sent scouts to watch the former Borussia Dortmund youngster earn his debut cap against Gareth Southgate’s side on Friday.
But while Halstenberg is performing admirably for Leipzig, he would have big shoes to fill to replace the 32-year-old Leighton Baines at Goodison Park. Baines is not only one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League but he’s also been a brilliant creative outlet for Everton in the last half-decade.
Taking it to the Max
Halstenberg, in contrast, does not boast the same productivity going forward. In 39 Bundesliga games, he has assisted just three goals.
That is less than Augsburg counterpart Philipp Max (below, right) has managed in just 11 appearances in 2017/18 alone. If Everton want a natural successor to Baines, then the 24-year-old simply jumps of the page.
Signed as a replacement for Chelsea-bound Abdul Baba Rahman in 2015, Max has finally nailed down a place in Augsburg and has arguably been the Bundesliga’s standout full back this season with five assists to his name. In fact, Max could consider himself unfortunate to be overlooked by Germany coach Joachim Low.
A set-piece specialist and a wonderful crosser, Max is without doubt a full-back cut from the same cloth as Everton’s long-serving number three. If The Toffees are looking for a successor for Baines, Max, rather than Halstenberg, is about as close as you could get.