Wantaway Evra can act as mentor for Shaw at Manchester United


The Frenchman had looked certain to leave the club this summer but may be minded to stay after David Moyes' departure and could play a key role.

Amongst the narrative of David Moyes' unceremonious exit from Manchester United came a rather interesting snippet regarding the potential acquisition of Luke Shaw.

If reports are to be believed, United are on the verge of sealing a move for the £30 million rated Southampton full-back in something of a parting gift from the beleaguered Moyes, whose ill-fated spell in charge at Old Trafford was brought to an end on Tuesday.

The signature of Shaw would provide United with an ever-improving full-back and one who still has plenty of time on his side, yet his rise to prominence has been so impressive that he stands in contention for a World Cup spot this summer. 

£30 million sounds excessive for an 18-year-old, particularly a defensive one, but the figure provides an accurate representation of the frightening potential possessed by the Saints starlet, with his club determined to reap as much as they can for a player they have brought to the fore.

While Shaw's progression has been nothing short of remarkable, the malaise which has accompanied Patrice Evra's veteran status in this wounded United side provides a polar opposite in terms of both performance levels and having the time to resurrect his ailing career.

A move back to his native homeland of France or a final pay-day in the MLS could surely beckon for Evra, who has appeared to lose his appetite for the game in the wake of United's wretched campaign and, akin to Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, must surely be tempted by a move.

Shaw's arrival, however, could act as an ironic mitigation behind an Old Trafford stay. On the face of it, the addition of a new left-back would push Evra down the pecking order and leave his first-team status in jeopardy.

On the other hand, Evra's presence in the squad could help Shaw bed in to his new surroundings, with the United players certain to feel the pressure of restoring parity, if not order, to their Premier League status next season.

Without belittling Shaw's achievements down on the south coast, the expectation level at United is at a very different level, as Moyes found out to his cost, and he would be coming into a team in need of a pickup as opposed to one on the rise.

United continued to be linked with Adam Lallana and a fellow Southampton player's presence would provide equal assistance in a transitional phase for Shaw, but with United set to lose some of their most experienced heads this summer, retaining Evra and placing him in charge of mentoring Shaw could be a masterstroke.

As the statistics show below, the Frenchman is certainly capable of matching Shaw in several areas.

Perhaps the most surprising trend in these statistics is one that marks Shaw out as the better defender and Evra, conversely, the better attacker on the left.

Evra's defensive work has taken a hit as a result of United's failings this season and while neither have committed an error leading to a goal this season, the Frenchman has been responsible for 0.03 errors leading to shots 0.03 times per appearance for United this season.

Shaw, meanwhile, has suffered no such defensive lapses and also posts a superior tackling accuracy to the man he hopes to replace at Old Trafford, having succeeded with 1.72 of 2.06 tackles per match, working out at an 84% tackling accuracy. 

His fellow full-back has attempted 2.4 per outing, more than Shaw's tally, but has only completed 1.63 of those, coming in with an accuracy of just 68%, paling into insignificance by comparison.

The Saints flyer also excels in touches per appearance having amassed an average of 70.88 in comparison to Evra's 65.63 but that is where his supremacy over the United stalwart ends, as his attacking statistics will attest.

In the final third, Evra has produced much of his best work, including a superior cross percentage (22% v 18%), more crosses (3.93 v 3.88) and has developed a new-found penchant for invention having mustered 0.1 goal assists a game to Shaw's 0.03.

When assessing the duo's respective performances this term, it would be easy to suggest Shaw has proven the better of the two in both areas of the modern full-back's game. 

Shaw has operated in a burgeoning outfit and has been able to express himself accordingly while Evra has appeared inhibited amid a desperate season at Old Trafford which has culminated in Moyes' exit and an anticipated mass exodus this summer.

Many of the old guard will follow Moyes out the back door, but there remains a role for Evra and, despite the added competition Shaw's signing would bring, the next United manager must hope there is still adequate fire in the 32-year-old's belly to provide some healthy competition in what has become a problem area for United.

  TeamPosError Lead To Goal / appsError Lead To Shot / appsTotal Tackle / appsWon Tackle / appsTouches / appsTotal Cross / appsAccurate Cross / appsGoal Assist / appsAppsMins
Patrice Evra Man Utd DF 0 0.03 2.40 1.63 65.63 3.93 0.87 0.10 30 2,614
Luke Shaw Southampton DF 0 0 2.06 1.72 70.88 3.88 0.69 0.03 32 2,732

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