Following the signings of Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell, Manchester United now need to be looking to secure a replacement for Patrice Evra. The Frenchman’s performances have been dwindling for some time now, with many fans of the 12-time Premier League champions believing he is past his best.
Evra arrived at Old Trafford from Monaco in 2006, joining at the beginning of the year with centre-back Nemanja Vidic. Upon his arrival, the 31-year-old has become a mainstay in the United defence, making 14 appearances between January and the end of the season. Since then, the France international has been virtually ever present under Sir Alex Ferguson, making a total of 292 appearances since he joined.
However, Evra has begun to show signs of weakness over the past 12 months, with opposing wingers finding it easier to break past the left-back. His pace, which made him such a threat breaking forward, has begun to diminish as he continues to grow older. As such, his attacking threat has become less of an asset to United, with his defensive inabilities increasing in the process.
The Manchester giants have been linked with a move for Everton’s Leighton Baines as his replacement, and while the England international is a decent left-back, he isn’t the ma to replace Evra. United need someone who is quick to break forward to support the attack and able to track back efficiently when caught up field.
Ezekiel Fryers was mooted as Evra’s successor prior to this protracted move to Tottenham Hotspur, leaving just Fabio as the possible understudy to the Frenchman. His loan spell with QPR, should he play, could do him the world of good and come back next season ready to fill in for the left-back. However, it is important that United replace the 31-year-old sooner rather than later.