Rio Ferdinand names the Premier League star who caused Patrice Evra problems


What Manchester United fans would do for a left-back of Patrice Evra’s quality circa 2008 right now.

Luke Shaw’s season-ending foot injury, which will force him to miss the start of next season, has left Jose Mourinho short of quality options at the position. The versatile Matteo Darmian played at left-back in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal, and Daley Blind can play there too, but Mourinho is expected to add defensive depth in the summer.

The thought of Evra returning to Old Trafford was mooted in January. He even spoke to Mourinho about rejoining the Red Devils from Juventus.

"I was very close to a return to Manchester United," Evra told Sky Italia, per Goal. "I also spoke with Mourinho but there was a person, whose name I will not say, who probably did not like the idea of my return.”

The Frenchman, who instead joined Marseille, won five Premier League titles and the Champions League during his nine-year career at United.

He was also named in the PFA Team of the Year on three occasions, his pace and athleticism earning making him tough to beat and dangerous on the attack.

Ferdinand names the player who caused Evra trouble

But Evra didn’t always find it easy. Rio Ferdinand has admitted he feared for the left-back whenever he came up against Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.

"Patrice Evra is small but a superb specimen who used to physically dominate wingers because of his strength, speed and low centre of gravity,” Ferdinand told The Times, via the Evening Standard.

"But then he came up against Hazard and you were thinking, 'Wow, this kid - you don't want to be coming up against him too much, Pat!'

"Pound for pound, Hazard was the same shape, strength and size and he was rolling Patrice inside and outside."

Chelsea v Middlesbrough - Premier League

Ferdinand: Hazard is Chelsea's CR7

Ferdinand was talking about Hazard and his value to Chelsea. The former Man United believes the Belgian is as important to the Blues and Cristiano Ronaldo was to the Red Devils.

"Not since my Manchester United team with Cristiano Ronaldo in his pomp have I seen a side counter so quickly, so efficiently and with such devastating effect," Ferdinand added.

"Hazard has improved his movement and, of course, he is Chelsea's ace, just like Cristiano was ours.

"Playing against him, I found that when he received the ball his awareness of where people are was brilliant and his low centre of gravity meant he could roll people.”

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League

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