Distin: Baines Deserved It
Defender happy to see teammate given greater international role.
On his first competitive start, Leighton Baines scored his maiden international goal for England on Friday night.
Yet teammate and fellow defender Sylvain Distin believes the Kirkby born left-back already carries the air of a seasoned international star.
Baines was last season voted into the PFA Team of the Year, just 12 months after his irrepressible form led to him being named Everton's Player and Players' Player of the Season.
Such consistency had led to the former Wigan man picking up nine international caps before last night's 5-0 rout of Moldova.
But Distin would have been in no way surprised to see his Blues comrade play such a telling role in Chisinau.
The Frenchman feels his defensive cohort has long been ready to make a greater impact at international level.
"I think he's deserved it for a long time," Distin told evertontv. "Even without playing [a competitive international] you already think he has that experience.
"The guy impresses me. He's always there, always working hard, always doing more than his job. He has qualities going forward, defending, everything."
Baines' opportunity arose after regular Three Lions left-back Ashley Cole was forced out of the World Cup qualifier due to an ankle injury.
Chelsea’s Cole will be 33 by the time the tournament kicks off in two years’ time, and Distin added: "It's difficult for me to compare both players because I only see Ashley Cole from bits of games that I see on TV, from highlights and from when we play against him, but I see Bainesy working every day.
"It wouldn't be fair of me to try to compare both players but from what I've seen of Bainesy, from the games and from the fact I've been here for three years now, he's an amazing player."
Meanwhile, Distin has admitted to being impressed by summer arrival Kevin Mirallas.
The Belgian scored his first Everton goals in last week's Capital One Cup victory over Leyton Orient and has also been a handful in training, according to the Frenchman.
"He scores some [impressive] goals," said Distin. "Every time we've got small games on, small five-a-sides, he scores a lot of goals. One-on-one as well, he can eliminate players quite easily, so I think it will be interesting to see more of him.
"We'll have to wait and see how he adapts but so far, so good. He seems to fit in really well in the dressing room and with the team but the Premier League is so different. You need a bit of time and you can't judge players too quickly."