Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has explained the decision taken by club legend Leighton Baines to retire at the end of last season. Leighton Baines is undoubtedly one of the best left-sided players in the rich history of Everton and the ex-England national team player decided to hang his boots professionally at the end of the last campaign. Leighton Baines ended his lengthy career as an Everton player last summer. He had spent 12 hugely successful years with the Toffees following his move from Wigan Athletic.
His last appearance for Everton came during the 3-1 loss at home to Bournemouth on the final day of last season in the Premier League. The result was not enough to save visitors Bournemouth from suffering relegation. Leighton Baines has become a coach at Everton on the back of his decision to end his playing career at the age of 35. Leighton Baines is now the performance development coach at Everton.
Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright spoke about Leighton Baines during the Everton General Meeting earlier this month. Bill Kenwright told the Everton shareholders that he tried to persuade Leighton Baines to sign a new deal last summer but the left-back was happy to endhis playing career at the club. Leighton Baines was one of the best left-backs in European football at his peak but he had to make way for French player Lucas Digne for the final few years of his Everton career. He became the second choice behind Lucas Digne at Everton before calling it quit.
Bill Kenwright wanted Leighton Baines to do another season at Everton before he retires but the ex-England international defender didn’t want a situation where he won’t be able to get to the level required on the pitch. He turned the offer down in a bid to preserve his legendary status at the club.