Everton star Leighton Baines has been told by manager Roberto Martinez that his place is not guaranteed as he edges closer to a return from injury, Express reports.
The 30-year-old has been out of action for the past six months after being forced to undergo two separate ankle surgeries.
His replacement for the left-back role, Brendan Galloway, has been on great form ever since he was called up from the reserve squad following his arrival back in 2014 from Milton Keynes Dons.
However, with Baines recently returning to training, Martinez now believes the England international will now have to fight for his place in the squad, with Galloway now seen as a first team player.
“I have a decision, as I have with any other player,” he said.
“Brendan Galloway is a first-team player. He is not a young player any more.
“What he has done this season he has earned the right to be considered a starter. It’s going to be down to competition for places, whatever we need on the day and allowing them to fight for that position.”
The Toffees boss also added he will continue to monitor the situation of Baines as he is still unsure whether the left-back is ready to feature given his ankle problems.
He is yet to make an appearance for his side this season, but is said to now be in contention for a place in the travelling squad ahead of their clash with Bournemouth tomorrow.