Date: 30th November 2019 at 8:30am
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Some Everton fans have been discussing on social media if Leighton Baines could be used as a defensive midfielder, having struggled to break into the side so far this season.

Baines has been one of our most rarely-seen first-team players this term, having not featured for a single minute in either the Premier League or Carabao Cup, and only named amongst the substitutes by Marco Silva on three occasions overall thus far.

Even when Silva made a raft of changes to face Lincoln City and slight modifications when playing Sheffield Wednesday and Watford in the EFL competition, the Portuguese favoured Lucas Digne at left-back rather than offering the Frenchman a well-earned rest.

Baines rarely featured under Silva during the former Watford and Hull boss’ maiden term at Goodison Park last season, either, with the £65,000-per-week full-back awarded just seven starts across all competitions amid a combined eight appearances for 556 minutes of action.

Former Everton manager Roberto Martinez had considered utilising Baines as a holding midfielder during his time in charge, when the Spaniard suggested the Kirby-born defender could follow in the footsteps of Bayern Munich icon Phillip Lahm.

Could Baines play in defensive midfield?

Yes, absolutely, worth a shot

Yes, absolutely, worth a shot

Only if we suffer more injuries

Only if we suffer more injuries

No, he isn't good enough now

No, he isn't good enough now

Martinez even made Baines study the German great during a Champions League Quarter-Final between Bayern and Manchester United, but over his entire career, the 34-year-old has only ever started a game in midfield on 17 occasions – each time on the left-wing.

Should Baines now reinvent himself in the likely closing stages of his career, with his contract up next summer, he would be competing for minutes with Morgan Schneiderlin, Fabian Delph and Tom Davies, with Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin out for the foreseeable future.

Here are some of the messages shared…

 

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