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Martinez labels Baines an Everton ´icon´

3 July 2013 13:01

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has hailed defender Leighton Baines as an "icon" amid speculation of a possible exit from Goodison Park.

Baines is believed to be the subject of interest from former Everton manager David Moyes following his move to Manchester United.

Martinez, though, insists the left-back is an important figure at the club and an integral part of his plans for the future.

"I think Leighton is more than a player, he is an icon," the Spaniard told the club's official website.

"He represents a lot about our football club and I am really, really excited about Leighton."

Former Wigan man Baines joined Everton in 2007 and has made over 200 appearances for the club, a platform that has enabled him to earn England recognition, having been capped 17 times.

"This is a big season for him and for us as a club," continued Martinez.

"When you are the left-back of this football club, and the level that he has been reaching over the last few years consistently, it shows me that he is the best left-back in the country. I can’t wait to start working with him."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 4 +9 12
2 4 +3 10
3 4 +3 9
4 4 +5 7
5 4 +3 7
6 4 +2 7
7 4 +1 6
8 4 +1 6
9 4 +3 5
10 4 +0 5
11 4 -1 5
12 4 -1 5
13 4 -1 4
14 4 -1 4
15 4 -1 3
16 4 -8 3
17 4 -3 2
18 4 -3 2
19 4 -5 2
20 4 -6 2

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