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The Manchester United target feels that, despite the sale of Marouane Fellaini to Old Trafford, the Toffees have reinforced brilliantly to put their engine room in great shape

Leighton Baines believes that Everton have the strongest midfield that he has seen in his six years at Goodison Park.

Roberto Martinez was one of the busier managers in the transfer window, bringing in the likes of Gareth Barry on loan from Manchester City and James McCarthy from former club Wigan.

Republic of Ireland international Darron Gibson also returned to Premier League action as a second-half substitute in Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, after a knee injury, and Baines is delighted with the wealth of options available.

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"It is great to see someone of Gibbo's quality back, it just adds to the strength we have in the squad - there is plenty of competition for those places in midfield, especially," the left-back told reporters.

"That is great for the manager and it gives him the opportunity to rotate sometimes and that is only going to help us."

Asked whether this was the best Toffees midfield that he had seen, Baines replied: "From what I can remember, it is, just because of the quality we have and there are a lot of players fighting for places. We have Steven [Pienaar] to come back [from injury] so, if we have everyone back fit, we will have a really good squad and the manager has some decisions to make."

The appointment of Martinez has seen the introduction of the Spaniard's preferred possession-based style of football and the defender is enjoying the changes.

"It's a work in progress but we're working towards being a much better team," he enthused. "I'm enjoying that aspect of it. I'm learning and hopefully we will continue to build on what we've started.

"We've been working on different things and people have begun to enjoy watching some of them. We've just got to tighten up the other aspects and keep developing."

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