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Should we increase bid for Baines?

It was confirmed yesterday that Everton rejected our bid of £12m for Leighton Baines and claimed that the full-back was “not for sale”. It’s a fairly awkward situation, given that David Moyes is still technically Everton’s manager and, just twelve months ago, he was fending off United’s interest by slapping an £18m price tag on the defender. Baines has since gone on to have the best season of his career and was voted in to the PFA Team of the Year.

Of course, there are generally very few players who actually aren’t for sale and at Everton, a club strapped for cash, it’s hard to imagine they would turn down a generous bid for any of their players. But do we want to see United spending £15m+ on Baines?

A few seasons ago I would have thought it was worth doing, particularly when Patrice Evra was going through a two year period of awful form, but surely the ship has sailed on this transfer. Baines turns 29-years-old before the turn of the year so we won’t get many years from him and won’t get much of a return if he turns out not to be good enough.

Whilst Baines is solid defensively, he’s also decent on the attack, scoring 5 and assisting 5 last season, but the duty of freekicks and corners will fall to Robin van Persie, making these attributes in Baines fairly redundant.

He did make an impressive 3.1 key passes per game though, which shadows the likes of Van Persie and Rooney, our highest with 1.8 per game, and certainly outshines Rafael (0.9) and Evra (0.7).

Some fans have argued that Evra, now 32-years-old, doesn’t need replacing after enjoying a “great” season in 2012-2013. Whilst Evra certainly improved on the two previous campaigns, his form last season was nothing like it was pre-2010. He added goals to the mix, which was great, but he was still left for dead by average wingers on too many occasions and caught out of position time and again.

I don’t mean to be overly critical of Evra, as I like him a lot, and if the club were to stick with him then that would be fine. His attitude and the way he speaks about the club probably buy him more time. But let’s not kid ourselves in to thinking that just because we like him a lot, that he is still a great first choice left-back, because he isn’t.

Evra has also been heavily linked with a return to Monaco and United’s bid for Baines suggests the club are considering letting him leave. If we were to factor in the money we recouped from Evra’s sale being reinvested in to buying Baines, then maybe £15m wouldn’t be too bad, but it is likely Everton will push for more than that.

We have some cover for the position already but it is unclear what lies ahead for Fabio da Silva and Alexander Buttner. It’s hard to believe that a couple of years ago Fabio was starting for United in the Champions League final. It doesn’t appear as though he set the world alight on his season long loan at QPR, according to their fans, but surely it’s worth giving him a go in our starting XI again. When you look at the progress Rafael made last season, managing to get through the season without any long term injuries for a change, Fabio’s got to be worth taking a chance on.

Buttner, in the limited opportunities he’s had, doesn’t look like he’ll ever cut it as anything more than back up for the position. He’s fairly exciting to watch going forward but defensively there’s still big question marks.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’d be disappointed if we signed Baines, as you can hardly turn your nose up at the league’s current best performing left-back, but I will be surprised. With the gaping hole in midfield and the worrying poor form from players on the wing, left-back just doesn’t seem a priority. However, if Evra is definitely off, then Baines would be a good enough replacement, as long as the price is right. It’s not a signing to get too excited about though.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. wayne says:

    NBI yes mate but my point is he only got 13 games hardly a wealth of experience and certainly didn’t stamp himself as a superior player

  2. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Just checking the outlets.

    Sheehan says Everton want £16m for Baines?
    That’s probably about right for an england player.

    Buy him for Moyes, deserves a player to help with the dressing room.

    Another point I heard is actually reasonable as well. Baines is handy with free kicks which RvP has been taking for us. Be nice to free up RvP to get on the end of free kicks instead of delivering them. That’s one of the things I used to think about Young. But that didn’t work our as well as hoped.

  3. Lee Martins Winner says:

    I really don’t see the issue. He is way better that cashly going forward. 28 has four good years in him. Hard worker and has good energy.

    the problem is the price, 12 mil yes, 15 max but 20????? fuck off

  4. WeAreUnited says:


    actually I also made that question also. Why SAF shipped Fabio for a loan and bought Buttner. If Fabio was that superioer? even though he played the CL final, that’s why it was so strange to send him on loan.

    I myself would give the chance to Fabio and Buttner, and see what happens.


    if Moyes can get as his first signings Thiago for 18mill and Baines for 10-12mill, that would be great news! It just would mean that Evra is leaving us.

    we’ll see. The main point is, get Thiago! that’s the first step.

  5. wayne says:

    WeAreUnited sorry mate didn’t see your post,to me its a no brainer Baines is one of the best left backs in Europe not a easy position to find true quality

  6. WeAreUnited says:

    I just noticed my typos, well 1.I’m not english, but when I write fast, I tend not to concentrate and the grammar and my sentences are all over the place.

    anyway, I also rate Baines and I think he would be a good addition, the only problem is, no not his age (since when turning 28-29 makes you left behind?) though it matters on the price meter. The only problem I have is if the price is really 20mill? 16mill seems also alot, but maybe itäs the contract issue, the remaining time so we have to buy his last years also?

    does this mean Evra is leaving? what does it mean for Buttner and fabio. as for Fabio one more thing, I think the lad is a talent and I can’t highlight that, btu he’s 22 and will develope and he has to show himself like Rafael! but this only happens while playing so I don’t know.

    I can’t do nothing, so lets leave it to Moyes

  7. roboo7 says:

    Most of the people on here are not english thats why most of them saying english players over rated baines is quality but not really long term but wouldnt say no to him best creater in the game

  8. wayne says:

    He creates plenty of chances good pently taker as well

  9. wayne says:


  10. King Eric says:

    NBI. Wow mate. Kudos to Pep for those comments. He’s always liked United. We wanted him back in the day.

  11. King Eric says:

    Sorry was Andromeda who quoted Pep.

  12. King Eric says:

    IDWT. Nice analogy but Moyes has brought players in from all over with variety with fuck all to spend.

  13. King Eric says:

    James Ducker is a fairly decent Journo and quite close to United.

    Mara. Fair enough. Actually agree with your post except not the bit about me! Ha.

  14. mara says:

    @ King Eric…finally we agree abot something :)

  15. Neo says:

    Evra isn’t getting any younger and if he stays, at his age his playing time has to be rationed. I am not convinced about Buttner’s defensive quality. Fabio was playing second fiddle to frickin Traore at QPR. Signing Baines thus makes all the sense. It is hard to contemplate departure of a stalwart like Evra but if Baines’ signature comes to fruition I would be alright.

  16. Red Robin says:

    Not worth it. We have Evra, Fabio, Buttner. Fabio should have reached his peak age next season. Buttner only needs to improve his defense play, but he needs to work hard for that. But we have Evra to play next season and Fabio to back him up. Left back is not a position that needs improvement for the moment.

    And with $12 mil, we should have bought a very decent midfielder already. Let’s just see what would happen in this coming week.

    Anyway, I don’t always believe what is written in papers. Many of our signings (Chicharito for one example) were going under the radar of news papers. This Baines’ thing has been gone publicly way too much. We have thrown two bids? Are you kidding me? It could be a smokescreen though. We might have purchased someone already.

  17. wayne says:

    Ok Red Robin sure mate

  18. Terry says:

    Some bollox on this. I don’t think half of yous even watch football

  19. Greek (MU)djahiddin says:

    He is very good, but he will turn 29 soon, and 12m for a 29 left back is a lot. If he is worth that, we should ask 30m for Rooney ! Everton simply try to make a lot of money because Moyes knows and trsts the abilities of the player. And Everton knows it. Evra may be past his best, but he has a further year of good football ahead. Fabio and Buttner may develop further next season too. At the end of the day, why not to go for a left back next year and use the 12m as a contribution for a very good midfielder ?

  20. Red Robin says:

    Haha wayne I’m just frustated. I mean how do we know how many ounce of truth is there behind every news of a player linked to us?

  21. Adeez says:

    the figures being thrown are a bit high for a left back but for moyes he wasn’t just a left back he was their main play maker….to put things into perspective the guy created more chances than anyone in the league more than mata silva cazorla etc

  22. Markowire says:

    No we should go for Fellaini instead then United need to work on Ronaldo or Bale.

  23. nesh says:

    why are buying defenders for god sake we have too many already…come on Moyes atleast get us one quality midfielder!!

  24. wazzer says:

    Keep evra then when hes gone try out fabio


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