Following months of reports of Manchester United’s pursuit of Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, it seems Patrice Evra is destined to leave Old Trafford after a memorable eight and a half years. It’s easy to forget that upon his January 2006 arrival, Evra was targeted as a weakness in the second half of that 2005/06 season – especially aerially.
However he soon found his feet in the Premier League and was only narrowly behind Ashley Cole as the league’s best left-back for the best part of a decade. Like Cole, age has caught up with him somewhat and he’s no longer the impregnable force he once was on the left.
His stunning goal at Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final was a fine leaving present but his defending in the rest of that game only added further proof that his time at United is up. If he does indeed leave, he will go with an admirable medal-haul and be remembered as part of a superb back five which included Edwin van der Saar, Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. It was a defensive line that conceded a paltry 22 goals on their way to the 2007/08 Premier League title and an impressive six goals in 13 games in their victorious Champions League campaign the same season. At 32, Evra now looks set for a short-term deal in his native France with mega-rich Monaco. A fine semi-retirement plan for one of the Premier League’s most consistent full-backs in recent times.
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