Dithering Dave sets sights on Baines

Opinion
FILE image of Everton's Scottish manager David Moyes as he looks on before the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton at White Hart Lane in London on April 7, 2013. Picture: AFP PHOTO/IAN KINGTON

Everton fans had a nickname for David Moyes when he was manager of the team and it had nothing to do with his red hair.

His hesitancy to spend money in the transfer market, perhaps owing to his Scottish lineage, earned him the name ‘Dithering Dave’.

He would allegedly identify a player he wanted to sign and then agonise for months over whether to spend the cash, on occasion leading to the said player to become exasperated and take up an option elsewhere.

For Everton fans it was both a blessing and a curse. The positive is that the cash-strapped club actually did exceptionally well in bringing in players for a low fee and either getting a good career out of them, or selling on for a largely inflated price. Moyes did his homework very thoroughly.

The negative is that they missed out on many targets too, the manager too frightened to spend the money of a club he knew had little to play with.

And so it will be of some frustration to Toffees supporters that Moyes, who is not even officially Manchester United boss until July 1, has moved swiftly to try and nick one of their prized assets in left-back Leighton Baines.

It is, of course, a different set of circumstances for Moyes, who has plenty of cash available and knows Baines inside out having turned him from promising youngster to England international and arguably one of the finest left-backs in the game today.

Everton have already rebuffed a £12-million bid for the 28-year-old, and reports in England suggest they are holding out for anything between £15-million and £20-million, depending on who you believe.

The club has officially said that the player is not available at any price, but every man has his number.

The problem for Everton is that they need the money, their debt repayments mean they are forced to sell one marquee star every European summer to ward off the banks.

With Baines and Marouane Fellaini tipped to leave this summer, there is no doubting who the majority of Everton fans would like to see the back of.

Fellaini can be brilliant, but highly temperamental too, whereas Baines’ level of performance never drops from excellent. The term ‘Mr Consistency’ could have been coined for him alone.

Should Baines make the move to Old Trafford, as is looking inevitable after some good old haggling, it will likely end the Red Devils career of Patrice Evra, who will not be keen to warm the bench in his advancing years.   

That would mean double-delight for Liverpool fans, who would not only see their Merseyside rivals considerably weakened, but also be rid of one of their arch-nemesis from down the years in Evra, the player who accused Luis Suarez of making racist remarks a few seasons ago.

Moyes first movements in the transfer market have said a lot about him as he cautiously enters one of the biggest jobs in football. Play it safe and go with what you know. United fans better get used to that.

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