Everton boss David Moyes has handed Leighton Baines a message of reassurance.

Since becoming the most expensive defender in Everton's history last summer, Baines has consistently caught the eye when he has played but, from time to time, has found himself dropped for big games.

Once again last Thursday when Chelsea arrived at Goodison Park, Baines was forced to settle for a place on the bench when Moyes shuffled Joleon Lescott across to left-back to accommodate Joseph Yobo and Phil Jagielka in the centre of defence.

Moyes, however, has taken time to speak to Baines and reminded him that he will have a key role to play in Everton's future.

Now the manager intends to find a solution - most likely by signing a midfielder this summer with a commanding presence - to ensure Baines becomes a fixture in his starting line-up.

"At times this season, we have struggled with the stature of the team and it has been unfortunate that Leighton has been the one to suffer," Moyes told the Liverpool Echo.

"It's not got anything to do with how he has played or anything else. We have just wanted a bit more stature at the back in certain matches and we've played Joleon at left-back."