Why Leighton Baines' New Deal Will Help Keep Ross Barkley at Everton

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Why Leighton Baines' New Deal Will Help Keep Ross Barkley at Everton
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Leighton Baines' contract extension finally silenced relentless speculation around his future.

After protracted talks, the left-back signed a new deal in January, committing to the club until 2018 and dismissing persistent links to Manchester United.

This allows Everton to target other needs, such as Ross Barkley's contract—something Baines' stance will aid them with.

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Barkley is currently on a deal that expires in 2016. With rumours already predicting a blockbuster move away, Everton would be wise to extend the deal and reward his form.

Regardless of Baines' contract, there's no reason why Barkley wouldn't welcome this. As a devoted Evertonian, the youngster is clearly enjoying his rise and relishing his progress in the first team.

Barkley has even responded to rumours on Twitter, clearly dismissing the notion of leaving and further endearing himself to Everton fans:

However, Baines' decision will only make his choice easier and erase any doubts over the club's ambition.

Comparisons are constantly made between the Toffees' current prodigy and Wayne Rooney, who left a beleaguered Everton consistently flirting with relegation.

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Matching Baines' ambition emphasises the obvious difference between then and now.

Barkley has seen the Toffees fight for a key player, constantly rejecting offers and convincing him to rule out any future move to Manchester United.

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That's already a stark contrast to the time of Rooney's departure.

Back then, Everton had just spent seven of the past eight seasons languishing among the Premier League's bottom seven.

Any time a player attracted interest or wanted to depart, they would almost certainly goas in the case of Nick Barmby, Francis Jeffers, Michael Ball and many others.

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Things are very much different in this present time. Aside from one season, the club have spent a decade in the top eight and there is far more control over exactly who departs.

Being a top-eight side keeps more players in the spotlight. However, while Everton have still sold some leading performers, many movessuch as Jack Rodwell and Marouane Fellainiwere smart business and essentially welcomed.

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They provided excellent revenue and funds to advance the squad andmost importantlyEverton had far more freedom to choose.

Baines' deal has shown just how much the Toffees have progressed over the past 10 years. He clearly believes in his manager's vision and is satisfied he can maintain his England spot and fight for European football.

For now, this is enough for Barkley, too. As many anticipate, he will most likely sign a new deal over the coming weeks and commit himself to his boyhood club.

Everton currently sit just two points off a Champions League berth. If they can eventually bridge the gap between themselves and the top four, Barkley will have far less desire to ever seek a move.

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