If Big Sam gets the Everton job, will Baines find himself out of the first-team picture.
Everton are still on the hunt for a new manager and at the moment it is looking increasingly likely that Sam Allardyce is the man for the job.
After failing in their pursuit of Watford boss Marco Silva, the Toffees need to make an appointment soon to help them in what has sharply descended into a relegation battle.
At present Everton clearly have survival on the mind, making Big Sam a perfect appointment, but what might it mean for some of the current Goodison Park crop.
Leighton Baines of Everton in action
Leighton Baines, for example, may be in the firing line.
The 33-year-old has been a fine servant to Everton and many would argue he is perhaps the greatest left-back in the club’s history. His excellent attacking fortitude and set-piece play made him much more than just a left-back and fans at Goodison will always remember him as a club great.
But his form has dipped recently and Allardyce has not been overly complimentary about him in the past.
Speaking in 2013 the managerial candidate made it clear that he felt Baines was not worthy of a starting place in the England team, telling the Express:
Leighton Baines of Everton celebrates
“You play your best team defensively and let the attacking players attack.
“If Leighton Baines happens to play and there’s a free-kick, then get him up there. But you don’t play him just for free-kicks.”
That was now over four years ago and since then Baines’ overall attacking qualities have dissipated. With his defensive skills never the best, he is now finding himself caught out on numerous occasions. Everton have no left-backs to truly back up the veteran and Allardyce will surely look to change that come January.
Someone with a more defensive mindset is likely to get the nod if Big Sam gets the job - especially considering the degree to which Allardyce rates Baines’ defensive attributes.
It could be that Big Sam’s appointment brings an end to Baines’ stranglehold on the left-back position at Goodison Park.
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