Manchester United: Five left-backs to take over from Patrice Evra
Good left-backs are hard to come by in football. To find someone who posses speed and the ability to cross the ball, but also realises his primary duties are still in defence. Patrice Evra has been one of the premier left-backs in the game for a couple of years, but last season saw a continuing decline in his defensive abilities.
Patrice Evra is still an excellent left-back but Sir Alex isn’t afraid to make moves to strengthen his team so here are five possible future replacements for Patrice Evra.
Leighton Baines of Everton would be an ideal choice in replacing the declining Patrice Evra. The English-born Baines has played left-back at Everton for the past five years and would not have to adjust to the physicality and pace of the Premier League. He provides accurate crosses on a consistent basis and is durable, starting 41 games in all competitions last season. A possible weakness is he is not as quick down the line and with Young on the left, he can’t always be counted on to track back. But his free-kicks are lethal.
Rumors suggest that the Spanish left-back may be on the way to Barcelona, nevertheless, Manchester United would be wise to snap him up. He is only 23 but has quickly made a name for himself in La Liga. He is extremely quick and he has the ability to pick out someone with a pass. The major question to ask though is; would be able to adjust to the Premier League? He has recently impressed at Euro 2012 for Spain and has proved a worthy predecessor to Joan Capdevila.
The French left-back Aly Cissokho would be a strong choice to replace his fellow countryman Patrice Evra. Long legged and good stamina would make him well equipped to the quick pace of the Premier League. He is a decent crosser of the ball but his deep runs alone will provide more space for Young to operate in. Cissokho looks to be a good reader of the game and has big game experience, representing Porto in the Champions League. The 24-year old would provide stiff competition to Evra.
The young Austrian has impressed all season at Bayern Munich. He is agile and quick, but due to his youth his decision making is not always on point. Alaba’s experience playing in the Bundesliga would make a transition to England easier than for another. His ability to play other positions would make him a good choice to solidify the left-back positions in a few years. He could operate in the midfield on the left hand side and deputise for Evra. Only 20, he has played in the Champions League, coolly scoring the first penalty in the shootout against Real Madrid.
The Dutch left-back became the youngest player to play at the Euros at 18 years and 71 days. Currently at PSV, Jetro Willems is a tricky player who has the height and pace to defend. Willems would make an exciting deputy for Patrice Evra and it would give Jetro time to improve his game. He still makes rash decisions and, as seen in the Netherlands' dismal Euro performance, would occasionally lose focus. This would be a unique way for Sir Alex to hold onto Patrice Evra’s experience and leadership for a few more years.
Calling all Manchester United fans: Do you agree with Alex? Is it time Evra was forced to pull up his socks at Old Trafford? Who would you like to see arrive to challenge Evra for the left-back berth? Or do you still believe that Evra is a top class defender and everyone should get off his back? Whatever your view we'd love to hear from you.