Say what you want about West Ham United’s decision to bring in the 36-year-old free agent Patrice Evra a matter of months after he was sacked by Marseille for aiming a kick in the direction of one of the club’s own supporters.
The fact that West Ham have taken a punt on Evra should have Aaron Cresswell looking at his own form this season and wondering where it all went wrong. It should also have Everton fans hopeful that their club does not choose the 28-year-old as Leighton Baines' long-term successor in the summer.
Former Ipswich Town prospect Cresswell was one of the Premier League’s most highly-rated full-backs not so long ago and received an England call-up back in 2016; a reward for his impressive displays on the West Ham left.
These days, however, there is a very real chance that Cresswell could fall behind both Evra and Arthur Masuaku in the pecking order.
He has struggled for form in the last 18 months or so and has even been fielded in a back-three in recent times with Masuaku, currently banned for spitting at Wigan Athletic’s Nick Powell, establishing himself as the undisputed first-choice left-back.
And it speaks volumes about Cresswell’s recent and sudden decline in both form and popularity that Hammers fans have welcomed the addition of the veteran Evra with open arms.
Everton should keep this in mind, then, with the Toffees likely to renew their pursuit of a new left-sided defender at the end of this season. As reported by the Mail, Cresswell was one of the players under consideration, but why should they take a punt on someone the fans want replaced by a 36-year-old freebie?
Every manager that plays us targets Cresswell. His positioning is awful, physically weak, can be got at for fun. Easily our wea link across the back. He’s part of the reason we play 3 cb’s. Evra could potentially mean we can revert to a back 4— james (@jameswhyte81) February 7, 2018
Im surprised people view Evra as cover for Cresswell. Cresswell has generally been appalling for 18 months. Shows how little depth we have that he gets a game every week. A complete liability— Vince (@cenzo147) February 7, 2018
@talkSPORT Cresswell is unbelievably poor this season, He plays like he doesn't want the ball . I hope Evra can roll back the years, C_O_Y_I !— Gary Graceland (@GaryGraceland) February 7, 2018
@talkSPORTDrive Cresswell has been shocking for a long time, Evra brings fantastic experience to try and keep West Ham up— Simon Skinner (@Skins2002) February 7, 2018
An 83-year-old Evra would still be a better left-back than Cresswell so I'm all for him signing.— West Ham Central (@WestHam_Central) February 6, 2018
I am excited to be potentially signing Evra, yeah he's 36 so what? is he better than what we have. YES he is....I'd have Evra over Cresswell all day long at least Evra can defend.— Lee Jolly (@leethept1) February 6, 2018
Evra is better than cresswell by a country mile— Jamie (@JamieCOYl) February 6, 2018