International star set for bleak future at Old Trafford
Manchester United prepare to return to Premier League action against Wigan and the game is rumoured to spell the end of an era for a part of modern day, Old Trafford furniture.
Patrice Evra’s head is said to be on the chopping block following United’s defensive shortcomings in their opening three games of the season. This, however, is not expected to have an effect on the outcome of the result with a United win priced at an unbackable 1/6.
Summer signing Alexander Buttner is ready to step into Evra’s void with Alex Ferguson’s notoriously short fuse at the point of expiry with the French international.
The former Monaco full-back was culpable for both Southampton’s goals in United’s fortunate 3-2 victory on the south coast last time out and this looks to have cost him.
His allowing Jason Puncheon the space and time to cut back onto his left peg and whip the cross in for Rickie Lambert’s opener was bettered by his slip at the back post which left Morgan Schneiderlin free to nod in Saints’ second.
United have courted a replacement for Evra all summer, with a projected move for Leighton Baines failing to materialise before snapping up Buttner.
However, axing the 31-year-old based on one bad game would be a harsh move given his service to the club during a trophy-laden six-year spell in Manchester.
Evra has made 209 appearances in his Old Trafford tenure, regularly captaining the side in the absence of Nemanja Vidic last term, where he developed a reputation as one of the finest left-backs on the planet.
It can’t even be argued that his age is having an effect on his performances – he’s only missed four league games in the past three seasons. He didn’t miss a single game in 2011/12 Premier League and played in all 56 of United’s 2009/10 games.
Any confusion he may currently be experiencing as to where Fergie’s intention to replace him has sprung from would, therefore, be understandable.
What’s more is his replacement, Buttner, is a player lacking the pedigree that comes as standard with Man United signings. He has no experience of the rigours of Premier League football and will require a period of adjustment, just as David De Gea did to the Red Devil’s cost last season.
Fergie had no choice but to hope for the best with De Gea following the retirement of veteran stopper Edwin van der Sar. Yet, that is not the case this time around with Evra allowing him the luxury of letting the young Dutchman sample Premier League action in small doses as he cuts teeth in the world’s toughest league.
However, it appears that the United supremo hasn’t learned from this debacle as he prepares to thrust another youngster in at the Premier League deep end, something Wigan will hope to capitalise upon at Old Trafford.
All odds and markets correct as of publication