Patrice Evra has agreed a stunning two-year deal with Juventus worth €3.5million-a-year, only weeks after having extended his contract at Old Trafford for another 12 months.
At least that what’s Sky Italia journalist Gianluca di Marzio would have you believe. The well-known transfer busybody revealed on his website only yesterday that the Frenchman has consented in principle to a switch to Turin, and went onto claim that Manchester United’s decision to hand him a new deal may have been a ploy to ensure that they received the largest financial return possible for him.
Whilst the response from the supporters over a potential Evra exit may have been lost amidst the throng of transfer activity surrounding Old Trafford, Di Marzio’s announcement poses a timely question, if nothing else; would Louis van Gaal be right to allow him to leave?
Generating a profit
There can be little doubt that United’s interest in potentially offloading Evra has been born out of a desire to make money from his sale before his contract expires and he moves on for nothing. The Red Devils offered him a new contract to negate the worry that he might leave for free this summer, and now that he is tied to the club Juventus will have to settle on a fee with his club before any agreement can be reached.
Earning a few extra millions aside though, there isn’t many other positives to be taken from Evra’s departure, and one has to question whether flogging him on for minimal profit will really benefit Van Gaal’s team in the long-run. Does the 33-year-old really fall into the same dispensable category as the likes of Ashley Young and Tom Cleverley?
Lack of options
Following the sale of Alexander Buttner, and of course the arrival of Luke Shaw, United currently have two validated options for the left-back berth. Whilst the 18-year-old Shaw has bags of promise it will no doubt take time for him to adapt to life in Manchester, and placing the proverbial eggs in one basket could be a dangerous strategy.
Though the former Southampton starlet is expected to be given the lion’s share of game-time in the coming campaign, a player possessive of Evra’s experience would be perfect to provide competition, whilst at the same time being a reliable alternative if for some reason Shaw doesn’t come out of the traps at break-neck speed. There’s also the possibility of the France international becoming something of a mentor for his young understudy next season, which would make sense considering Shaw, as good as he is, has yet to develop properly.
If Evra is to be sold surely Van Gaal would be left with just one viable option on the left-hand side of his defence? And what then happens if Shaw doesn’t cut the mustard as expected?
Right or wrong?
Though Van Gaal’s ultimate decision - as has been proven numerous times in the past - will not be affected by the quandaries of those around him, there may well be cause for concern if he allows Evra to complete the proposed switch. With a lack of adequate cover for Shaw United could well find themselves short should the starlet fall foul of poor form or injury, and without Evra there will be no one to provide competition or indeed show him the ropes.
Whilst the Frenchman may not be as agile as he once was, as stout a defender as in years past or even as reliable on the ball as Shaw is, experienced heads will be key when it comes to smoothing over the transition from last season to next, and the current United squad are severely lacking in them anyway.
Surely on this occasion the long-term gain of keeping the 33-year-old at the club outweighs the short-term financial dividends they stand to reap if he does indeed join Juventus? United fans, what do you think? Let us know in the comments box below.