Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has been the subject of a lot of speculation in the press recently regarding his future that may lie away from Old Trafford.
The attacking left back has been the main stay of Manchester United’s defensive setup for almost seven years and has gone on to establish himself as one of the best left backs in Europe.
In the seven seasons he has spent at Old Trafford he has won a handful of trophies including the Premier League, the League Cup, the Club World Cup and the UEFA Champions league and has become one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s better signings for the club.
Evra’s ability to defend and his willingness to then join up with attacks has made him a fan favourite amongst the Manchester United supporters.
Some inconsistent performances and Evra’s advancing years prompted United to buy relative unknown Alex Buttner to provide Evra with competition for the left back spot.
With rumours persisting over a possible transfer to Paris Saint German in the near future and slightly indifferent form over the course of the season, Manchester United may be tempted to cash in on the flying full back and explore other options. Here we list some of the top five candidates should United look for other options.
1. Leighton Baines
The Everton left back has constantly been linked with United over the past couple of seasons but no deal has materialised thus far. With Everton pricing Baines beyond United’s valuation of the player the deal that would be ideal for both club and player has yet to come off. United’s style of play would suit Baines’ game and his precise delivery from crosses and from dead ball situations would prove him to be an able replacement for Evra.
The Real Madrid left back has just returned from a serious injury that kept him out for most of the season. The Brazilian who was once touted as the successor to Roberto Carlos has never been able to live up to the billing.
With fellow team mate Fabio Coentrao performing well Marcelo’s position as first choice left back is under threat. Marcelo, like Evra, would provide his team with added attacking prowess and his ability on the ball would be an added boost but will he be willing to switch over to the Premier League’s physically robust style of play is another question.
3. Fabio Coentrao
The other Real Madrid left back would certainly not be up for a bit part role at the Bernabeu. United were rumoured to be interested in Coentrao’s services when he was at Benfica but he instead chose to make the switch to Real Madrid. Another quick left back who is more solid at the back but also possesses the ability to go on marauding runs down the left hand side. An asset to any side in the Premier League.
4. Phillip Lahm
The versatile Bayern Munich defender is probably one player that has to be considered amongst the top three left backs as well as right backs in the world. The Bayern Munich captain is a rare breed of player similar to the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Franceso Totti so a transfer seems out of United’s reach.
5. Jordi Alba
Another great prospect for the future, Jordi Alba has proven himself at Barcelona and seems to be enjoying his football at the Catalan club. At 23-years-of-age boasting the ability to make darting runs infield or up and down the touchline with an eye for goal, Alba would certainly fit into United’s framework like a glove but with Barcelona enjoying a lot of success through Alba a deal is unlikely in the near future.
If Manchester United do part ways with Patrice Evra there would certainly be no shortage of takers owing to the French defenders undeniable ability. But finding a suitable replacement for United would prove a major hurdle as they learnt in filling the shoes of another Manchester United icon in Edwin Van Der Sar.
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