Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Why Manchester United Could Benefit From Their Former Stalwart’s Return

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

The only department Manchester United have been shaky in this season is their defence. Now, with Eric Bailly away for his national duties through the African Cup of Nations, Jose Mourinho is desperate to bring in an assuring figure at the back. Although the likes of Victor Lindelof and Kostas Manolas are doing the rounds in the paper talk, United has surprisingly offered a deal to their previous left back Patrice Evra.

Although it is only a coaching role, given that the former French international is still quite match fit and has started games for Italian giants Juventus this season too, it would be hard to think that Mourinho, who is an old admirer of the player, won’t fancy him playing him in the left-back role.

United have a serious shortage of players in that position with Daley Blind failing terribly and Matteo Darmian looking quite uncomfortable playing out of position there. United have arguably England’s best left-back in Luke Shaw, but unfortunately, his spell has been blighted by niggling injuries.

Mid-season is a difficult time for clubs to get good players as no side agrees to part ways with their main players while in the middle of a season, and getting someone like Evra will be really tempting. Evra hasn’t yet accepted the offer and there is every chance he would prefer a playing role alongside the coaching one if given a choice. Hence, when West Ham United come along with a lucrative deal for Evra, he could jolly well choose them.

Sevilla FC v Juventus - UEFA Champions League

Evra’s stint at Juventus is seemingly coming to an end with chances drying up for him, and he is looking for a regular play time. Although the league table represents a six-horse race at the moment, United realistically should target to get into the top four first by the end of the season, and Patrice Evra’s immense experience and achievements in the English top flight football make him a brilliant option for the rest of the season.

In his 9-year stint at Manchester United, Evra was a regular, especially under Alex Ferguson’s management, where he played 273 matches scoring 7 goals and 33 assists in the Premier League. He was also a steady figure in their FA Cup and UEFA champions League campaigns.

Although West Ham United will provide stiff competition to United for Evra, the tilt will always be towards United. More so because the Old Lady are said to be interested in United’s Matteo Darmian and swap deal might be on the cards.

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