Following the news that Patrice Evra had signed a one-year contract extension at Manchester United, some wondered how that would affect the club’s reported move for Luke Shaw.
After all, the Southampton teenager is used to being first-choice at St Mary’s, and the reports linking United with a £30million move cited the fact that the club could make him first-choice as a reason to snub other potential suitors.
But that was with the understanding that Evra would be moving on, so what now?
Talk is that Evra will act as a mentor for Shaw if he does arrive at United. But considering the teenager has already shone consistently in the Premier League, and is about to take part in his first World Cup at the age of 18, one could ask just how much he needs a mentor.
In truth there is only one way that Shaw will be heading to United this summer, and that is if Evra is given an alternative role.
The Frenchman has been practically an ever-present for most of his time at Old Trafford and he shows no signs of waning – at least in terms of fitness. So if Shaw does arrive, do not expect Evra to simply bide his time on the bench.
Instead, there is a very viable alternative given United’s lack of options on the left-wing, which would see Evra occupy that role with Shaw playing behind him.
Some United fans have questioned Evra’s defensive contributions in recent seasons, but his attacking qualities are not in doubt. In fact last season he was often one of the side’s most creative outlets, teaming up effectively with Adnan Januzaj on the left.
So if Louis van Gaal does not bring in a new left-winger, and Shaw does arrive, it would not be a huge surprise to see both he and Evra starting in the same side week-in-week-out, and perhaps forming an effective partnership that may even see the Frenchman extend his stay further.