Everton linked Marvin Plattenhardt is a carbon copy of Leighton Baines

Everton fans celebrate Chris Smalling of Manchester United's own goal by lighting a flare during The Emirates FA Cup semi final match between Everton and Manchester United at Wembley...

Premier League outfit Everton have reportedly identified Hertha Berlin's Bundesliga left-back Marvin Plattenhardt as Baines' Goodison Park successor.

Leighton Baines of Everton in action during the Premier League match between Everton and Burnley at Goodison Park on October 1, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

It is no secret that Everton have been scouring the continent, and beyond, to find Leighton Baines’ long-term successor.

Countless left-backs have been linked with a summer switch to Goodison Park from Frank Fabra to Joe Bryan, Alex Telles to Aaron Cresswell. And there is now another name in the frame – Hertha Berlin’s German international Marvin Plattenhardt.

Sky Sports have claimed that the 26-year-old is the latest man on the Toffees’ radar. And what makes links with Plattenhardt so interesting is that he is almost a carbon copy of the man he would eventually replace at Goodison Park.

Germany's Marvin Plattenhardt controls the ball during the international friendly football match Germany against France in Cologne on November 14, 2017.

Baines has spent the last decade and a bit patrolling the left-hand flank in Everton colours, winning admirers from Merseyside and beyond for his wand of a left foot, his pinpoint deliveries and his trademark set-pieces. Plattenhardt, meanwhile, has earned himself a fine reputation over in the Bundesliga for precisely the same attributes.

The former Nurnburg man, who is likely to be the back-up to Jonas Hector at this summer’s World Cup, set up eight goals in all competitions in 2017/18 and, although he didn’t find the net himself, he did score three times in the 2016/17 campaign.

Northern Ireland's defender Lee Hodson (L) vies with Germany's defender Marvin Plattenhardt during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification football match between Northern Ireland and Germany...

But it’s not the total but the manner of these goals and assists that give Everton fans a heavy dose of déjà vu. Watching Plattenhardt is like watching a young Baines in full flow.

So if Everton are looking to replace their long-serving 33-year-old, it makes sense to sign a player who is pretty much the German alternative.

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