Roberto Martinez believes a rejuvenated Leighton Baines will boost Everton in the second half of the season.
The Everton manager has brushed off renewed speculation surrounding the England international’s future, insisting he is eager to see Baines return from a fractured toe refreshed and ready to help the Toffees push up the table in 2014.
The full-back's injury - combined with ongoing rumours over his future – led to media reports Baines could depart Goodison Park in January without playing again for the Club.
But when asked about the subject by reporters this week, Martinez responded: “Has Leighton played his last game for the club? No. I don’t see it that way at all, especially where we are currently, not at all.
“I’m not worried about speculation because it means we have good players who are playing well and they are players lots of other teams would love to have."
The Everton manager explained that there is no financial requirement to sell players in January and that his focus is on adding to the squad to ensure the Blues' promising start to the campaign is sustained in 2014.
"We are in probably one of the strongest positions we have had for many, many years where we can make pure football decisions on any player," he declared.
"I'm really happy with the situation because, as a club, we simply don't need to take the opportunity of the January window to try to balance the books - I can guarantee that is not the case.
"In January, if we do anything it will be to try and improve the squad - to give a better opportunity to our players to finish the season strongly.
"Six weeks is the pessimistic view with Baines - knowing him, he'll want to be back a lot quicker. It's a lesser injury than we thought.
"It's still a long time, because six weeks at Christmas means he misses a lot of games. But he is the sort of player who will want to be back quicker, and if he comes back refreshed, it could be a positive for the second half of the campaign."
Tickets for Saturday's game against Stoke are available from just £32 for adults, £21 for concessions and £16 for juniors.
To buy, click here or call 0871 663 1878.
Alternatively, visit the Park End Box Office at Goodison Park, Everton Two in Liverpool One or TicketQuarter in Queen Square.