LEIGHTON BAINES has been rated as England’s best player.
The Everton full-back was ranked 16th in a special league table devised by Bloomberg Sports who listed the continent’s leading players according to performance statistics.
Scientifically-based analysis is used to evaluate footballers on skills relevant to their position and Blues left-back Baines emerged as the highest placed Englishman.
Goodison team-mate Marouane Fellaini was placed higher at 12th with Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney in 26th.
Tottenham’s Gareth Bale is the only other British player on the list, being ranked in ninth spot while United striker Robin van Persie is sixth and therefore the leading Premier League player. Luis Suarez is Liverpool’s only representative on the list, sitting 15th in a table topped by Lionel Messi.
Bill Squadron, president of Bloomberg Sports said: “We continue to look at new ways to use analytics that will be interesting to fans, and are pleased today to unveil what we believe will be a game-changer in the way professional football is looked at in the future.
“Analytics is becoming more and more prevalent in both the minds of the fans and in the decision-making power of the clubs, and we are confident this index will help both stir healthy debate and be a great measuring stick for player evaluation going forward.”
Baines, named Everton’s player of the year, played every minute of every Premier League game last season.