Today is Patrice Evra’s birthday, and the former Manchester United hero is a real great of the Premier League.
For a time one of the best defenders in the division, Frenchman Evra is now turning out with Juventus, whom he helped to a Champions League final earlier this week.
Despite his obvious talents and longevity, Evra does have some competitors for the title of best ever Premier League left-back, and we take a look at five others who could stake the claim for such an honour.
Dennis Irwin - Manchester United
Irwin arrived at United in 1990, and truly became a stalwart of Alex Ferguson’s side. He was part of the treble winning team in 1999, and rarely ever put in a bad performance, despite featuring for such a length of time for the club.
Ashley Cole - Arsenal, Chelsea
Arguably the greatest left-back in the world at one point, Evra and Cole were frequently pitted against one another in title races for United, Chelsea and Arsenal. One of few players to win the Premier League title with two different teams, Cole is one of the only players able to consistently stop both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo from performing.
Nigel Winterburn - Arsenal
Totalled 440 appearances for the Gunners and won the double in 1998, forming part of a formidable defensive unit. Maybe not the most talented of footballers, but a great work ethic and understanding of the game meant that he could perform far above his level for such a long time.
Ian Harte - Leeds
A surprising choice on this list, but Harte has enjoyed a very distinguished career, if one that is underrated due to his lack of silverware. Part of the brilliant Leeds side in the early 2000’s, Harte is one of the best set-piece takers in recent history. Unfortunately, he was release by Bournemouth at the end of this season, meaning he will not be back in the top flight next term.
Stuart Pearce - Nottingham Forest
Also had spells with Newcastle and West Ham, but it is at Forest that Pearce is best remembered. ‘Psycho’ was a no nonsense full-back who gave his all every single time he took to the field, and made up for some technical limitations with incredible displays. A club legend, he also managed 78 appearances for England.