The 33-year-old England international left-back, who joined Everton from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2007 for an initial transfer fee reported by BBC Sport to be worth £5 million, has also suggested that 20-year-old Dowell has a future at Goodison Park.
Baines told BBC Sport about Dowell: “He has got exceptional ability, great footballer. They were trying to blood him into the team.
"Ronald Koeman was trying to bring him in, and he was a great footballer, but perhaps just wasn’t quite ready.
“He has gone and flourished in the Championship, and I am sure he will come back ready.”
Future at Everton?
Dowell is a very talented and promising young attacking midfielder, and Baines’s comments outline just how highly he is rated at Everton.
The England Under-21 international has struggled with consistency at Forest so far this season, but there have been very encouraging signs from the youngster in the Championship.
The attacking midfielder has scored nine goals and provided four assists in 26 Championship starts for Forest so far this season.
However, with players such as Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney and Davy Klaassen at Everton, Dowell could find it hard to break into the first team next season and may have to go out on loan again.
Everton are an ambitious club, and one suspects that next season the Merseyside outfit will be putting all their efforts in breaking the top six of the Premier League.
Manager Sam Allardyce may not be able to give Dowell the playing time he would need, and perhaps the youngster would be better off playing on loan at another Premier League club in 2018-19.