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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Stuart: Baines Should Start

by Rob Urbani @efc_roburbani

Graham Stuart believes Leighton Baines deserves to keep his place in England's starting XI after his star display on Friday.
 
The Everton great singled out Baines as England's top performer in the 5-0 victory over San Marino at Wembley.
 
There is now growing media speculation that Baines will lose out to Ashley Cole for the World Cup qualifier against Poland on Tuesday night.
 
But, whilst Stuart remains a keen admirer of Cole's defensive credentials, Baines' form is heaping pressure on the Chelsea man ahead of the contest in Warsaw.
 
Stuart said: “It was difficult to have a bad game against San Marino but nonetheless Leighton, I thought, was England’s best player on the night. I thought he did terrifically well.
 
“I think he’s inching closer and closer to Ashley Cole with every passing week, I really do. His performance level for Everton has been outstanding.
 
“I think Cole has been absolutely magnificent over the years and for the first time in a long time Ashley will have to be looking over his shoulder now because Leighton is coming up strong.”

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