Selling Leighton Baines could fund Everton's Champions League push suggests Neville Southall

Left-back has been consistently linked with Manchester United

Former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall believes defender Leighton Baines could be the player to be sacrificed in order to fund the club's bid for Champions League football.

Southall thinks the Toffees need three players in January if they are to sustain a top-four challenge.

Midfielder Marouane Fellaini is the player who appears to be attracting most interest from other clubs but Baines has regularly been linked with Manchester United over the last 12 months.

Southall feels it would be easier - and cheaper - to find a solution at left-back but ideally he would not want Baines, one of Everton's most consistent performers over the last few years, to leave.

"I'd like to see them buy three players, at least, or get three players on loan," said the former Wales international, speaking at the launch of The Football Pools 90 Day Community Challenge at St Helens Junior Football Club, who received funding of £50,000 to makeover their club.

"They need a striker for definite, a midfield player who can pass - a more expansive midfield player - and a defender.

"We've got to this position now where, if they get two or three players, they can push on, finish fourth and get the Champions League.

"I don't mind him (Moyes) selling one if he brings two in because that makes sense.

"If you are going to sacrifice anyone, Leighton Baines may be the one to go.

"You've got Phil Neville to fill in (at left-back) and you've got Bryan Oviedo you could get away with there.

"I would hate it but you can't do Fellaini at the moment because it would cost twice as much to replace him.

"But I'd rather they add than take away, because if you're taking away you're saying to the fans 'We don't care, we're just going to sell' and I don't think that is right at all."

Southall has been impressed by his former club's performances this season, which has kept them within two points of third place.

But he believes they cannot afford to stand still and for all their attacking invention he thinks they require more guile to make them genuine top-four contenders.

"They have upped their performances and the reason for that is they have got goalscorers," he added.

"They've kept it tight before because they didn't have that cutting edge but now they have goals all over the pitch.

"I don't think we have anyone with that vision. (Darron) Gibson is not bad to be fair but he's not there every week.

"Maybe by next season he would be ideal but he's picked up a few injuries here or there.

"Jelavic can change a game on his own but I'd like to see someone with a bit of drive and personality.

"I'd like to see them have someone who can take the game by the scruff of the neck and make an impact. Someone like the character of Andrei Kanchelskis but a midfielder who can drive the team forward, maybe make a few tackles - someone like a Steven Gerrard for Everton.

"They don't seem to have someone who has that drive inside them yet."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue
E L James's book Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

It's hard to understand why so many are buying it – but then best-selling was ever an inexact science, says DJ Taylor
Behind the scenes of the world's most experimental science labs

World's most experimental science labs

The photographer Daniel Stier has spent four years gaining access to some of the world's most curious scientific experiments
It's the stroke of champions - so why is the single-handed backhand on the way out?

Single-handed backhand: on the way out?

If today's young guns wish to elevate themselves to the heights of Sampras, Graf and Federer, it's time to fire up the most thrilling shot in tennis
HMS Saracen: Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled

HMS Saracen

Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'

7/7 bombings 10 years on

Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'