Baines is the Toffees’ longest-serving player after former captain Phil Jagielka re-joined boyhood side Sheffield United following his release at the end of last season, with the 34-year-old left-back in his twelfth campaign on Merseyside.
In the years that have followed his arrival from academy side Wigan Athletic, the £3.15million-rated Kirkby-born defender has amassed more than 400 games in Royal Blue, and had a hand in more than 100 goals, along with 30 senior caps for England.
His Everton career almost came to an end with Jagielka’s, but Baines put pen to paper on a one-year extension in the summer, and his continuation with the club allowed the full-back to welcome summer arrivals Moise Kean, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Alex Iwobi, Fabian Delph, Djibril Sidibe and Jonas Lossl to Finch Farm.
Baines has now revealed the message he offered the quintet.
“It’s a great group of people at the Club right now,” Baines said. “All I can say to the new players is, ‘If you are out there and they see you putting the work in, they will give you a chance’.
“That was always the thing for me. If Evertonians know you are playing for them, you will get a chance. Whether that’s the fans, or the people in the medical room, or Jimmy Martin and the lads in the kit room, if you’re grafting, they’ll take to you.
“They were always the people I wanted to impress, and in a mad way, I still do.”
The £65,000-a-week defender’s glowing praise of the Goodison Park faithful, and the backroom team at Goodison Park and Finch Farm, is a boost to Everton that will be felt now with the arrivals of Kean, Gbamin, Iwobi, Delph, Lossl and Sidibe, and in the future.
Baines has been an example of what Everton should represent throughout his long-serving career on Merseyside, and what he has told the new players will hopefully be something that stays with them, and can be passed on to the next new face through the door.