Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines - Replaceable vs. Irreplaceable

Jan Kruger

One stayed and one departed, but that us not the only difference between Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines

Although we didn't expect it to go down to the wire in such outrageous fashion, Marouane Fellaini has moved on from Everton to join David Moyes at Manchester United.

The move cost the defending league champions 27.5 million pounds. That is a tremendous bit of business for your Blues. Especially considering that United wanted both Fellaini and Leighton Baines for a putrid 28 million just a few weeks ago.

Fellaini is an impact player, able to dictate the flow of a game when he feels like doing so. His best performance in an Everton shirt came against his new team on the opener last year, when he put on one of the best individual performances in recent Everton history.

When it was announced that Moyes was moving to United it set off several alarms in Merseyside that he was going to take some of our best players with him. Immediately, rumours ran rampant that Moyes was planning to come back for Leighton Baines and Fellaini.

Moyes was the man who brought the gigantic Belgian to Goodison Park from Standard Liege for a still club record 15 million pounds back in 2008. He also was the one who brought Baines on board.

The feeling around Goodison was that if Moyes wanted to pay up for the 'fro, he could take him -- but Baines was untouchable.

Why was this the case? Why wasn't Fellaini guarded with heels-dug-in in the same fashion that Baines was?

Everton could go out there and find a player who could do what Marouane Fellaini does, but there is no other Leighton Baines out there.

Baines creates more opportunities than any other player in all of Europe, he is a consummate professional, and has been the club's best asset for the past few seasons.

Now that Fellaini has moved on, new boy James McCarthy, Darren Gibson, and Ross Barkley are going to take over the middle of the pitch. Of the three only Barkley may have the impact that Fellaini had in his years at Goodison. However, had Baines moved on, we'd leave a glaring hole on the pitch.

Baines is the type of player a manager could build an entire squad around. He makes EVERY player on the pitch better with his play. He can take a good team, and turn them into a great one.

This is why Leighton Baines simply could not be moved this transfer season.

Now that the window has been slammed shut Evertonians can sleep better knowing that Baines will be patrolling that left sideline for the foreseeable future.

They now have time to work on a deal to keep one of, if not the most important player(s) in all of Europe at the club beyond this season.

Marouane Fellaini ought to be remembered as a sensational Blue. Even though he may have just been going through the motions to start this season, he provided us with some magic during his career at Goodison Park. We wish him the best and look forward to competing against him for a spot in the top four.

As for Leighton Baines, he remains irreplaceable, untouchable, and indubitable.

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