Roberto Martinez has this morning confirmed anticipated news that Leighton Baines has pledged his future to Everton by signing a new long-term contract.
Martinez: “It would be an understatement to say we are delighted to secure the best footballing years of Leighton Baines at our club.
“ItÂ´s a massive boost and exciting for the future. Leighton has just turned 29 and brings the right measure of maturity and football knowledge in a very specialised position on the pitch, bringing an infectious and positive influence to the rest of the squad.
“I know that every fan will be delighted with the news and we all share that excitement looking at whatÂ´s left of this campaign and beyond. With the crucial games we have ahead, it is going to be vitally important to have LeightonÂ´s experience there to help us fight for our aims.”
“To have Baines secure and spending the best years of his career at Everton means a lot — especially in this January window, when we are talking about making sure we have a strong squad to take us into the second half of the season.”
“ItÂ´s a long-term deal, so itÂ´s for the next four years. I know the fans will be delighted, because Leighton is more than a footballer at our club. He represents our strong intent to progress, to get stronger.
“Leighton will bring all of that on the pitch. For me, heÂ´s one of the best left-backs in European football. I think his best is still to come.”