A dependable left-back, Leighton Baines is probably best known for his set-piece expertise and penalties. He joined Everton FC from Wigan Athletic FC in 2007 and has proved a popular figure back in the city of his birth. A stand-in for Ashley Cole at international level, he should make his major tournament bow for England at UEFA EURO 2012.
• A native Liverpudlian, he had youth trials with Liverpool FC but launched his career in earnest with Wigan.
• Won two promotions in his first three seasons with the Lancashire club, helping them into the Premier League as runners-up of the Championship in 2004/05 – a season in which he also made his England Under-21 debut.
• Missed just one match as Wigan finished tenth in their debut Premier League campaign; helped them preserve their top-flight status the following season before joining Everton.
• Participated in three successive European campaigns for the Merseysiders and was handed his senior international debut in a March 2010 friendly against Egypt, but was overlooked in favour of Stephen Warnock for the 2010 FIFA World Cup squad.
• Improved his England credentials with a superb 2010/11 season, in which he played every minute for Everton in the Premier League and scored five goals, earning the club's player of the season prize; came on as a 31st-minute substitute for Cole in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier at home to Switzerland and started successive 2011/12 friendlies against Sweden and the Netherlands.
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