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Wednesday, 04 July 2012

Manchester United: Why Leighton Baines is the ideal signing

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With most United fans calling out for Luka Modric or Javi Martinez to be signed it has left many to question why the great old wily Scot that is Sir Alex Ferguson would go out and spend a reported £12-15 million on a 27 year old Leighton Baines who can’t get into the England starting XI.

Personally I think Baines would be a brilliant signing because he has all the experience and attributes to carve out a very successful career at the highest level. Yes he’s 27 but I believe this is a good thing because as it stands Manchester United have an extremely young squad which at times find it hard to deal with the pressure and Baines would bring a much needed steadiness and calmness to the team while young Blackett is being groomed to take over (who I believe really does have the potential to be in the starting line-up).

People seem to underestimate him as a player because he’s behind Ashley Cole in the England team but this is a man who has played in a League Cup final, an FA Cup final and has also been named in the PFA Team of the Year, as well as having played against the top countries for his national side.

Patrice Evra has been an outstanding servant for the club since his arrival but, unlike Baines, is very inconsistent and only seems to be able to attack these days. Baines would bring a perfect balance between attacking and defending. He has a crossing and free-kick ability that most wingers in the league could only dream of having and is a very consistent and quality defender too.

I realise a lot of fans including myself would like to see a solid box-to-box midfielder brought in but it all depends on Fletcher’s comeback because if he can get over his illness and get fit again then he’s the exact player that’s been missing. Why go out and spend £30 million on Modric or Martinez if we have a fit Darren Fletcher available? Along with Powell, Cleverly, Tunnicliffe to name a few, there just wouldn’t be enough time to get everyone on the pitch or for players to show their potential, and we can’t forget how good Carrick was for us last season.

Yes our midfield was weak but I feel it was our left side of the pitch that let us down a lot more. Ashley Young is a quality player but can be inconsistent and isn’t naturally left footed so always has to cut inside, the same with Nani and Evra, who just wasn’t strong enough for us defensively. Shinji Kagawa is going to prove more valuable than Eden Hazard and just as good as David Silva (if not better).

I’d rather see us going out and signing Leighton Baines and James Rodriguez (that one might be dreaming a little bit but we do need a natural left footed player) than spend millions on a position that we risk overfilling. Don’t get me wrong if Fletcher doesn’t return and Ando goes then yes we may need to bring in another midfielder, Fellaini or Strootman would be a good option if that is the case.

Leighton Baines would be well worth £15million and would provide us with two class left backs that would bring out the best in each other by battling it out for a starting spot. Not only this, it would provide Evra with a sustained period of rest throughout the season and would really help solidify the rest of the squad.

Here is some footage of Baines in action:


Article by Kouros Gharchedaghi

Calling all Manchester United fans: Do you agree with Kouros? Is the signature of Leighton Baines the most important piece of business for Fergie this season? What do you think Baines will bring to the team? Do you believe Baines is a truly top class player? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.

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Colin Illingworth



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