Jonny Evans has been tipped to play a significant role in Manchester United's top four aspirations.
That is the view of former Old Trafford star John O'Shea, a five-time Premier League winner who is now Sunderland captain.
The Irishman, who recently scored a vital equalising goal against Germany in the qualifying rounds of the 2016 European Championship, disputed the notion that Manchester United are frail at the back.
“I think they’ve just been very unfortunate with injures, and consistency for a back-four is very important," he explained to talkSPORT.
“If Jonny Evans stays fit he’ll be crucial for them, he’s a very good player, he talks and organises the defence," he stressed.
“If they’re chopping and changing, with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and the new signings as well, they can’t get a run of games together, and consistency is the key for any team aiming for the top-four."
Consensus opinion suggests the club have been hampered by the exits of three accomplished Red Devils like Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, however, O'Shea does not believe it is a question of the current back-line being remarkably inferior.
“A lot of people have been talking about the team’s experience as well, and with losing Rio, Vida and Patrice… it was always going to be tough for them this season.
“But it isn’t a question of personnel, I think they have the players there to get to the top four, without a doubt, so once they get their defence sorted I sure they'll be fine."