Everton young gun Baxter is bailed after drugs arrest

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The Independent Football

The Everton striker Jose Baxter was yesterday released on police bail following his arrest for possession of cannabis and counterfeit money. The Bootle-born 17-year-old was arrested in a car, in which he was believed to be a passenger, along with 29-year-old and 34-year-old males, in the Kirkby area on Monday.

"Three men have been arrested in Kirkby on suspicion of possession of cannabis with intent to supply and possession of counterfeit money," a Merseyside police spokesman confirmed. "All three men have been released on police bail pending further inquiries."

Baxter, who captained England at the European Under-17 Championship in May, became Everton's youngest player when he came on for Nuno Valente during the 3-2 defeat to Blackburn in August 2008, aged 16 years and 191 days. He went on to make three further appearances for David Moyes' side over the following month, including a first start at West Bromwich Albion a week later. The striker was an unused substitute in the FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea at Wembley in May.

The return from injury of Yakubu Aiyegbeni and the form of Louis Saha and Jo have limited Baxter's first-team opportunities this season. He has made two substitute appearances, the Europa League matches away in Sigma Olomouc last month and BATE Borisov last week.

Moyes' side endured a poor start to the season but their form improved in recent weeks, with five consecutive victories preceding Sunday's 1-1 draw with Stoke.

* Aston Villa midfielder Isaiah Osbourne was last week arrested on "suspicion of conspiracy to rob". The Birmingham-born player was arrested at the club's Bodymoor Heath training ground last Friday and taken in for questioning. "A 21-year-old man was arrested at Aston Villa's training ground on 2 October on suspicion of conspiracy to rob," a police spokesman said. "He has been released on bail while further enquiries take place."

Osbourne has failed to feature for the Aston Villa first team this season, and has made 14 appearances for Martin O'Neill's side in three years with the club.