Everton’s Leighton Baines has called on the club’s hierarchy to back Roberto Martinez during this summer’s transfer window.

The Toffees have enjoyed an excellent campaign, but they look set to fall just short of Champions League qualification despite early ambitions of breaking into the top four.

Everton have long been seen as a club without the budget to compete with some of English football’s ‘big boys’, and have often relied upon the sensible management of former boss David Moyes and the sales of big name players for large fees – such as Marouane Fellaini last year.

However Baines – who was tied down to a major new contract amid interest from Manchester United recently – wants the club to back Martinez in the coming transfer window in a bid to close the gap between themselves and their rivals:

“I’m sure the manager will be looking to keep investing and keep improving the squad because every year that’s what everyone else does and I think to give him a chance to improve us to that level then he’s going to need money to invest.” He is quoted by the Daily Star.

“We’re working on what we’ve got here and what we’ve got at the moment I think the big teams have a lot of money to spend and they spend it every year and they improve every year so we’ll have to do the same.

“We’d always been seen to have done well but never quite managed to achieve the things we wanted and he wants to take us to the next level, but in order to do that we have to change our style a bit.”

Everton have been linked with a deal to bring in on-loan star Romelu Lukaku, but the striker is likely to cost in excess of £20m.

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