Everton defender Seamus Coleman has been discussing the influence that Leighton Baines has had on him and his playing career.
As quoted by the Liverpool Echo, the Republic of Ireland international spoke of how he aimed to replicate Baines’ success at the club when he was younger, and was full of praise for his fellow defender.
Early on, there were quite a few full-backs at Everton. Phil [Neville] was here, Tony Hibbert as well – someone I really looked up to and really wanted to learn from – and Bainesy on the other side.
He got in the PFA team of the season twice and has now got the most assists in the Premier League for a defender, so he was someone I probably tried to watch and learn from the most.
Coleman is currently sidelined as he continues to recover from a broken leg suffered on international duty. He suffered a horrific broken leg at the end of March in Republic of Ireland’s game against Wales, and still appears to be some time away from making his return.
This has led to a plethora of options at right-back being tested since by Ronald Koeman, including all of Mason Holgate, Cuco Martina and Jonjoe Kenny.
We both played in similar positions and that relationship he had with Steven Pienaar was probably the best left-hand side in the league. And when I say probably, I’m sure of it.
He probably had that little bit more composure and quality than me in the final third and that was something I wanted to work on and learn from.
Baines is held in high regard at Goodison Park by the Toffees’ supporters, and it looks as though the players show a similar level of respect and appreciation for the experienced left-back.