Martinez says Baines can be like Lahm, plus Coleman on Arsenal.
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Roberto Martinez believes Leighton Baines can make the transformation from left-back to defensive midfielder – just like Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm.
That’s the story in many of today’s national newspapers, with the Daily Express and Daily Star even revealing that Baines accompanied Martinez in the role of student to watch Lahm and Bayern tackle Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday.
For now, Martinez says he is happy for Baines to focus on his current role, but has urged the 29-year-old to study a position in which he believes he can flourish in seasons to come.
Lahm, 30, has this season been operating in both positions for the German giants under new boss Pep Guardiola.
Also in the Daily Star, Baines’ fellow full-back Seamus Coleman says the pressure is all on Arsenal to finish in the top four, with Everton preparing for their mouthwatering showdown with the Gunners at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Martinez also discusses the crunch clash with Arsene Wenger’s men in the Liverpool Echo and warns Blues supporters they may need to be patient during tomorrow’s lunchtime kick off.
In the Daily Mirror, the Spaniard says that the game provides an opportunity to land a psychological blow in the battle for Champions League qualification.
Striker Romelu Lukaku is another to speak to the Mirror, admitting he knows very little about today’s Grand National at Liverpool’s Aintree racecourse and that basketball is a sport more to his liking. The Belgian also explains how he goes from being a “dreamer” off the pitch to “passionate” and “aggressive” on it.
Special features in the Times and the Guardian look at the job Martinez has done since taking over the Blues last June, with the latter’s headline stating that the Spaniard has “allowed Everton to dream again.”
Meanwhile, the Independent and Daily Mail both look at the current rise of Merseyside football and compare the feel-good factor among the city’s supporters to that in the 1980s.
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