Manchester United Transfer Rumors: Leighton Baines Is a Must for Red Devils
It seems like everyday that goes by, Manchester United becomes more likely to sign left-back Leighton Baines.
In a recent Mirror Football report, it was revealed that Everton has made plans to recruit Ireland international, Stephen Ward, in a bit of an insurance move to replace Baines if he is to depart for greener pastures.
That's great news for the Red Devils in their attempt to sign Baines, as they could sorely use his services on the back line. In fact, he's a must, as he would give United a huge advantage in their quest to finish atop the Premier League.
Manchester United has already made a huge splash thus far in the transfer window, grabbing Shinji Kagawa and Angelo Henriquez, and the acquisition of Baines would solidify its dominance over the transfer market.
Baines would be perfect at Old Trafford to give Alex Ferguson a high-qualify defender to replace Patrice Evra, who is aging before our eyes. Evra had a good season for United last year, but that doesn't change the fact that he will start to lose a step or two in the coming terms.
He's also perfect for United in terms of his playing style. He's great when it comes to free kicks, and is one of the more dangerous assisting defenders in the entire league.
Fergie likes to juggle his starting eleven from time to time to keep his players fresh. That means there will be no problem finding Baines playing time.
United is also very concentrated on clean, crisp passing, an aspect with which Baines is indeed very adept. Baines finished ahead of all but two United players (Antonio Valencia and Nani) in key passes per game (h/t to whoscored.com for the stats).
Not to mention, he did this all for Everton, a respectable team, but nowhere near the same caliber as Manchester United.
His crossing skills are unrivaled by any defender currently on the United roster, which serves as a testament to his precision passing ability. He completed two accurate crosses per game last season, good for fourth in the Premier League, and 0.3 more than Valencia who was United's most accurate crosser.
While Baines may be seen as a luxury acquisition for Manchester United, he is one of the best left-backs in the Premier League, and would give the Red Devils another stalwart to protect the net.
He seldom gets beat off the dribble, he's a masterful passer and his contributions on offense are greater than most defenders. He's just 27 years old at that, which isn't too ripe, but he would serve as a perfect replacement player for Evra down the road.
Do you want Leighton Baines playing for United?
Everton is reportedly asking for £15 million for Baines, but United is attempting to reduce that amount by sending players over along with the cash.
United won't regret it if this acquisition pans out. At less than £15 million, this would be a great deal for the Red Devils.
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