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Patrice Evra linked with Palace but Manchester United return intriguing

Patrice Evra linked with Palace but Manchester United return intriguing

The ESPN FC crew discuss rumours of Patrice Evra’s return to Manchester United.

Patrice Evra may soon be set to return to the Premier League, but his destination is likelier to be Selhurst Park than Old Trafford.

The 35-year old left-back, capped 81 times by France, is in talks with Crystal Palace, as Sam Allardyce looks to make him his first signing. Many Manchester United fans may be dismayed by this news, since the club’s support hold Evra in particularly high esteem.

He is one of the most loved players in United’s recent history, with his leadership and infectious personality having made him as vital a presence in the squad as Dani Alves was for Barcelona.

Evra is special because he “got” United — he seemed to be as much a fan of the team as one of its most important members. Of course, there was much more to his game than passion. Technically gifted, with fine vision and startling acceleration, he went to three Champions League finals with United, winning one in 2008. He also took home, among other honours, five Premier League winners’ medals, a tally he amassed in just nine seasons. Having played 379 times for the club, he was unfortunate to have been sold a year before he was due to receive a testimonial — and his departure was arguably premature, given that he went to his fifth Champions League final with Juventus the following season.

If Evra does end up at Crystal Palace, there is nothing he will do there that could damage his legacy at United. He would be assured of a rousing and probably standing ovation on his return to Old Trafford, and some may feel that he still has plenty to offer his club in the short term.

It seems that Jose Mourinho is still not entirely convinced of Luke Shaw’s defensive qualities, and Evra could be a more than useful stand-in while the England full-back works to impress his manager in training. Evra would offer a similar dynamism down his flank to that which Antonio Valencia offers on the right, giving a speed and an ambition of approach which it presently lacks. Though Matteo Darmian has lately been diligent in this role, he is clearly limited, and Evra’s return would allow United’s forwards to spend more time infield and with fewer defensive duties.

Patrice Evra became a huge fans’ favourite during his time at Manchester United.

Hopes of that return may be in vain. Whether or not he goes back to Old Trafford, though, he will always be remembered by the club’s fans with the greatest fondness. His continued love for United is evident from his hugely popular Instagram feed, and it would be no surprise if the club offered him an ambassadorial role upon his retirement.

When he made his debut at Old Trafford, a disastrous outing where he was hauled off at half-time in a 3-1 derby defeat to Manchester City, few could have predicted that he would go on to become one of the club’s greatest ever full-backs.

Yet just over a decade later, that is exactly what he is — and has thus followed proudly in the tradition of Eric Cantona, another Frenchman who famously fell head over heels for Manchester.

Musa Okwonga is one of ESPN FC’s Manchester United bloggers. Follow on Twitter: @Okwonga.

The ESPN FC crew discuss rumours of Patrice Evra’s return to Manchester United.
Patrice Evra may soon be set to return to the Premier League, but his destination is likelier to be Selhurst Park than Old Trafford.
The 35-year old left-back, capped 81 times by France, is in talks with Crystal Palace, as Sam Allardyce looks to make him his first signing. Many Manchester United fans may be dismayed by this news, since the club’s support hold Evra in particularly high esteem.
He is one of the most loved players in United’s recent history, with his leadership and infectious…

Source: http://www.espnfc.com/blog/transfer-talk/79/post/3037624/patrice-evra-linked-with-palace-but-man-united-return-an-intriguing-idea

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