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Patrice Evra likely in his last five months with Manchester United

Jan 12, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT

Having played 21 games in 89 days, Olivier Giroud is "a bit fatigued", says Laurent Koscielny. AP

Adding to the offseason makeover shaping up across Manchester United’s back line, left back Patrice Evra looks unlikely to return to the Red Devils next season. The 33-year-old, in the last year of his contract, has not been offered a new deal at Old Trafford, and with rumors linking him with a return to Monaco last summer, the French international looks set to make way for a new purchase in Stretford.

Leighton Baines has been rumored to be Evra’s replacement ever since the current Toffee’s former boss, David Moyes, made the move to Manchester last May. According to The Guardian’s reporting, Southampton’s Luke Shaw is now also a target, with the Red Devils seemingly committed to bringing in a fresh face to replace the long-time starter.

Evra joined United from Monaco in January 2006 and, after initially battling to win a place in Alex Ferguson’s starting XI, has been a regular during the last seven seasons. Over the course of 359 all-competition appearances, Evra has scored nine times while contributing to five league and one European champion. On three occasions, Evra’s been voted to the Professional Footballers’ Association team of the season in England while earning FifPRO’s worldwide honor in 2009.

That résumé looks set to leave Old Trafford come May, however, potentially following teammates Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand out of United’s defense. Vidic’s agent recently told Italian radio that the Red Devils’ captain is unlikely to sign an extension to a contract that expires this June, while Ferdinand’s continuing health problems mean the long-time Red Devil is unlikely to be offered a new deal.

Yet whereas Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones leave a number of options in central defense,  Evra’s departure would be met with more uncertainty. The French international has played at least 28 games in each of the last six Premier League seasons, leaving very little time for an understudy. Whether that understudy would be Alexander Büttner, Fabio, or somebody else is unclear based on United’s current options.

More likely, Moyes would up the pursuit of a replacement through the transfer market, with the likes of Baines and Shaw pursued to replace somebody who’s been a given in United’s defense.

  1. dfstell - Jan 12, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I can understand that it makes sense to have more depth at left back, because Buttner is NOT a defender (he has a nice left foot and some pace = back-up left winger) and Fabio seems destined to prove that it isn’t all genetics since he doesn’t seem to be half the player his twin is. So, let’s add depth….especially since then the legs go on a fullback, it happens pretty fast.

    But, he’s still a really, really good left back. In what world does it make sense to get rid of really good left backs? Good left backs are as rare as hens teeth. You keep them on the books and wait until after they get old to get rid of them. So bring in someone else, let them split some time with Evra, but keep the guy around.

    Plus….he seems to be the only veteran on the team who leads when the rest of the team is sleep-walking through a game. I never see any leadership from Vidic, but Evra as vice-captain actually seems to give a crap when things are going poorly.

  2. bellerophon30 - Jan 12, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    As a Man U fan I’d love to see Evra get a year extension, as he’s still proven to be a capable player for us. How he’ll continue to age we don’t know, I wonder if management has gotten a little spoiled by Ryan Giggs’ agelessness. Anything more than a year to year deal would be a mistake. Same with Rio, whom I’d love to have back next year, though I’m assuming they’d want a passive cut to bring him back.

    I like Buttner more than the above comment, he just needs more game time. Fabio is a decent squad player, no more no less. If we need him to start 10 games in a season we’re in trouble. The problem with bringing in a transfer is that like a lot of people, I don’t trust Moyes and Woodward to do it right. Last summer really has left a stench, and I’m wondering if they’ll do anything to wash it away this month.

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