Seamus Coleman has labelled Leighton Baines one of the best players he has ever played with at Everton, after the full-back decided to announce his retirement at the weekend.
The Toffees lost the last game of their season with a 3-1 defeat at home to Bournemouth and Carlo Ancelotti will now be planning for the summer transfer window where he’ll be looking to add to his squad.
Finding a player of Baines’ consistency and reliability will be some task, though, with Coleman offering very kind words indeed about the left-back.
He said via the Blues’ official website:
“In my time at Everton, he is hands down one of, if not the best, players I’ve played with.
“As a footballer every day he was so professional, always in the gym and always the best player in training.”
Certainly, the Blues are bound to feel a gap left behind by Baines moving on but it is clear that this time was coming sooner rather than later.
The full-back will move on to a new stage in his career, then, and it just remains to be seen what he will do next.
Everton, meanwhile, will want to replace his experience and seniority as quick as they can.