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With Patrice Evra's form, Man Utd don’t need Leighton Baines

The Manchester United fullback put in yet another impressive performance against Stoke City and his form this season has been irreplaceable

The often outspoken French fullback, 32, must have been feeling slightly vulnerable during the Leighton Baines transfer saga last summer. In fact, the rumours continue to this day and a January transfer bid for Baines might not be too far away.

However, with the form Evra is in, surely that leftback slot should be the least of David Moyes’s worries. During Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over Stoke City in the League Cup quarter final, Patrice Evra demonstrated that despite his age, he still has no problems getting up and down the pitch.

Defensively he was sound, making six effective clearances, one solid turnover and maintaining a relatively decent 76% pass success rate.

Going forward, on the other hand, Evra was as good as a natural winger. A couple of successful dribbles, he kept hold of the ball well without ever being dispossessed, making two crosses and being in position to have two shots on goal, one of which hit the back of the net.

The Frenchman’s performance wasn’t just a flash in the pan, the Man Utd captain has arguably been the Red Devils’ most consistent performer, having made 15 appearances makes him the Premier League champions’ most featured player.

You could possibly understand David Moyes’s need in wanting to sign a new understudy leftback so that his captain can be pushed in natural time, but Leighton Baines, who just turned 29, is only three years younger than Partice Evra and on this seasons form certainly isn’t outshining his potential rival.

Statistically speaking, defensively, both fullbacks are very similar. Evra making more clearances and interceptions on average, whilst Baines has made more tackles and is less prone to being dribbled by his opposite winger.

Offensively, whilst Baines’s two superb freekicks against West Ham United means he has scored more goals, Evra has made more assists and has played in more key passes to his strikers.

So with the January window approaching, Manchester United manager should keep his money firmly in his pockets regarding the leftback situation, and if he feels he needs a new face, then perhaps a move for a younger player in the mould of Southampton’s Luke Shaw next summer would prove to be a more prudent decision.

Either way, Partice Evra has still got a couple of years at the top level left in the tank.

What do you make to Patrice Evra’s form? Is a new leftback a priority right now?

image: © nasmac

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