Baines looking for “next level” under Martinez

, 18 March, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Defender sees need for investment in players

Leighton Baines says that it was great to remove the uncertainty over his future by signing a contract extension at Everton and that he is now focused on helping Roberto Martinez achieve his ambition of taking the club "to the next level".

The defender tells Sky Sports that he didn't really need any convincing to sign a new deal with the Blues and that it was just a question of the timing being right before he put pen to paper to commit his future to Goodison Park.

Baines reiterates that Everton under Martinez is still very much a work in progress and that the new playing style that the new manager has instituted is only one half of the equation. He sees investment in the squad this summer as being vital to the manager's chances of truly competing with the Premier League's big-spenders for the top-four places.

"[The manager's] thing now is that he wants to take it to the next level," the 29-year-old says, "and in order to do that we may have to change our style a little bit.

"What we're doing now is slightly in transition, obviously, but it's a system that, if we can get better at it and keep improving, then we can definitely climb up the table.

"I'm sure the manager will be looking to to keep investing and improving the squad because, every year, that's what everybody else does. To give him a chance to improve us to that level, then he's going to need money to invest as well.

"We're working on what we can do here with what we've got at the moment but the big teams have a lot of money and improve every year and we'll have to do the same.

Baines's comments come in the wake of concerns voiced by Sylvain Distin over the potential impact a Europa League campaign would have on Everton without significant investment in players.

"[I have mixed feelings over the Europa League] because you can't say No to playing in Europe," the veteran French defender told the Echo yesterday. "As a player, it's impossible to not want that. But it's completely different from the Champions League in terms of finances for the club. It's a lot of travel and you need a big squad.

"Yes, it would be amazing for the club and for the fans to be travelling back in Europe again but for the team, if we're not going to have a much bigger squad next season, it could be tough.

"If you look at the big picture, as I say, it's important you've got to ensure that being in the Europa League doesn't make you suffer back in the league."

Quotes sourced from Sky Sports

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