A Peep Into Leighton Baines's Everton Career

It might have gone unnoticed in the midst of Everton's Europa League progression, but one Blue made history during the Ruzomberok tie. Leighton Baines is now the full-back that has the most appearances in club history, exceeding the great Tommy Wright who was at the top of the list.

The Everton legend, Baines celebrated the 10th anniversary of his arrival at Everton. In a summer of change, he remains a key figure for Ronald Koeman. The £6m sent to Wigan in August 2007 will go down as one of the best pieces of business the club have done. Seems irrelevant but it is not. Everton have had a few cultured left foots down the years – Kevin Sheedy being the most obvious example – but Baines appears first before any name you will care to mention.

Think of the free-kicks, especially the last-minute cup leveller at Stamford Bridge in 2011, the screamer at Newcastle in 2013, his Sheedy-esque double at West Ham a few months later, and how reliable his left shot is from the penalty spot. Flash back to the C-like corner kicks and those gorgeous, whipped deliveries from the left flank. He of course is the defender with the most assists in Premier League history, and he continues to rake them up.

It is a difficult task to maintain your levels in the Premier League across a season, not to talk of ten seasons. Baines joined Everton with a reputation as a steady-eddie type full-back, with attacking blood running in his veins, yet able to cope defensively. Although as expected, he initially struggled to gain a regular starting shirt as Joleon Lescott was the preferred left back for a spell. Whenever he was in the team, Baines was going nowhere. Everton's Baines has been very reliable and delivering upon ageing.  He won Everton Player of The Year twice, he has always been a man to depend upon.