Manchester United boss David Moyes has made a move to bring Leighton Baines to Old Trafford, leaving Patrice Evra's future up in the air.
But is the Toffee left-back better than the Frenchman?
Defensively, Evra often gets beaten for pace, and have a lot of other concerns as well. He sometimes puts himself in unwanted positions which forces him to do something stupid to bail out his team.
However Evra is strong in air; the same cannot be said about Baines.
Evra is still a lively attacking outlet and pitches in with goals and assists. He makes up for his defensive vulnerabilities by foraying into the attacking third.
Full-backs tends to lose concentration as the years passes by and Evra is no different. In an attempt to contribute more in attack, sometimes he forgets his defensive responsibilities and often finds himself out of position.
However Evra is still among the top left-backs in the Premier League and is a handful on his day. He is a regular goalscorer and leads the team with his determined performances.
Baines, on the other hand, is becoming one of the best left-backs in the country as he is in his peak now. He likes to dribble the ball in a similar way to Evra, but the difference making is his crossing and set piece abilities.
His free-kicks are deadly and his link-up play with Steven Pienaar made them the best left-sided pair in English football last season. If he can find a similar combination with Ashley Young, Nani or Shinji Kagawa then Manchester United fans will be up for a treat.
The key difference between both players comes in creation of chances via key passes and crossing. Baines outshines Evra with his ability to deliver pin-point deliveries and Baines is one of the top players in the creative third.
Evra isn’t accurate with his crosses, but his main strength is to link up play with short passes and his forays are normally timed to perfection. Baines need to master this art if he is planning to move to Old Trafford.
At 32, Evra is past his prime and has lost the springs in his steps. Baines on the other hand is 28, who might have two or three years ahead of him at top level.
Baines is in his peak and will certainly be an upgrade, but it will be a short-term solution rather than a long-term fix which is needed.
However there won’t be any complaints if Baines can replicate Robin van Persie’s performances his in first season!
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