West Ham United should considering making a move for Leighton Baines at the end of the season.
The Everton man will be out of contract in June 2019 unless he and the Toffees negotiate a new deal.
Whether that is likely is anybody’s guess right now.
But Baines is 33 and is now behind the impressive Lucas Digne in the pecking order at Goodison Park.
He has been one of the Premier League’s top full-backs since he joined the club from Wigan Athletic in 2007.
Last season he had some injury problems, and only made 22 league appearances for the club.
He isn’t quite at the same level as he used to be, and him falling behind Digne could suggest he’ll be allowed to leave the club next summer.
And that is where West Ham should step in.
Baines could be a Zabaleta-esque signing
West Ham signed Pablo Zabaleta in 2017, and Baines could be the 2019 version of that transfer.
Of course, things could change and the player might recapture his form later in the season, but as things currently stand that doesn’t look likely given the player’s age.
Manuel Pellegrini could pull off a very shrewd move by getting Baines in for nothing.
The Kirkby-born defender may not be the same player as a few years ago, but he still has the quality to be playing in the Premier League.
Many people doubted Zabaleta’s potential to still do a job at his age, but the Argentinian looks fighting fit at the age of 33.
Baines’ physical attibutes may be on the decline, but he would still offer great experience and intelligence, as well as threatening set-piece deliveries.
Arthur Masuaku is a defensive liability for the Hammers. Pellegrini may wish to move the Frenchman on next summer if he doesn’t improve.