Baines one of the country’s best, says Martinez

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has hailed his full-back Leighton Baines as one of the best in the country, according to Sky Sports.

Although Baines did not play for England in their 1-0 friendly victory over Denmark on Wednesday he has been assured of his place in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad.

The 29-year-old has been in fine form so far this season for Everton and Martinez tipped him for great things.

“I think the full-back position is the most demanding in world football – you need to be able to defend in a unit, one v one, and full-backs are probably the players who can dislodge defensive set-ups and become vital in your attacking play. We are blessed with the qualities we have,” said Martinez.

“Leighton has been playing really well of late and it was a great opportunity for the England manager to see other options (against Denmark) and we are delighted he was rested and can carry on preparing for the game against Arsenal.

“In the case of Leighton he has been such a consistent performer everyone knows what a player he is developing into and what he can bring.”

The Spaniard went on to say that he believes Baines is at the peak of his career and will aid Everton’s final push late in the season.

“When you go into a major tournament experience plays a big part and Leighton is probably in the best moment of his career,” added Martinez.

“I think he is in the peak of his career to help the national team and from our point of view to help our club.

“I am excited about the ending of the season with Leighton’s form and making sure we are as strong as we can be.”

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