5 Defenders Who Could Replace Patrice Evra

It’s never easy replacing a player that has been consistently brilliant at the club for a number of years. You get so used to seeing that player on the team sheet and what they bring to the team, the kind of things that make you go ‘Wow, we’re so lucky to have him’. Patrice Evra is one of those players because he combines attacking and defending excellently to make him one of a special breed of left-back. Not many can combine the two well and often a player excels in just one of the areas.

It’s not like Evra is being shifted out just yet, however, as he’s played in 14 league games this season. But, at the age of 32, United should be looking at a big name replacement for him. Alex Buttner is a good player but perhaps not good enough to be starting week in week out, although he could prove me wrong. Even if he does, United will need another left back to add depth. Here are five left-backs who could replace Patrice Evra:

1. Leighton Baines

Baines is probably the most obvious inclusion because of United’s long-term interest in him. Over the summer, United were consistently linked with a big money move for the Everton left-back, with the Daily Mail picking up on this on numerous occasions. The fact that Baines could link up once again with David Moyes sent media outlets into overdrive. Baines is a very strong attacking force, much like Evra, but he has weaknesses when it comes to defending because he’s often caught out of position. He is a player you’d expect United to be linked with throughout January.

2. Alex Sandro

The Brazilian has been nothing short of brilliant for the past couple of seasons for Porto after he joined in the summer of 2011 from Santos. He is a strong and quick full back with huge amounts of potential. If it’s nurtured correctly, then United could have a world class left-back once again. Sandro has two assists so far this season and he’s been very solid, helping Porto to claim the best defensive record in the league at the moment by conceding just eight goals. He is an option which should definitely be considered by United.

3. Fabio Coentrao

Coentrao is possibly the easiest to get out of all the players on this list because he is currently rumoured to be unhappy with playing second fiddle to Marcelo. Just four appearances in the league this season is a poor amount of games for someone of his quality. At the age of 25, he has the unique balance of experience but is also close to reaching his peak years. If United can pick him up now then they’ll be treated to some of Coentrao’s best years.

4. Lucas Digne

The Paris Saint-Germain left-back only recently signed from Lille but has been one of the French clubs best players, despite the fact that they have Thiago Silva, Edinson Cavani, Lucas Moura, Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verrati. According to (www.whoscored.com) only Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been better than him all season. United will almost certainly not pick him up in January, but next summer or the summer after that they can start to trying their luck. He’s worth the wait.

5. Ricardo Rodriguez

Rodriguez is a relative ‘new kid on the block’ because he’s only recently started to gain attention for his performances for Wolfsburg. He has been absolutely incredible this season as he has an average match rating of 8.04, which places him at eighth in the player rankings in Europe. He’s just 21 years old as well. In addition to this, he’s scored two goals and also claimed two assists. A key player with a huge future ahead of him, United will want to pick him as soon as possible.

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