5 Left-Backs Manchester United Should Target to Replace Patrice Evra
Patrice Evra's form has been hit and miss since 2010, with United routinely looking for future replacements.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Alexander Buttner in the summer of 2012 but it is clear that, whilst he is an adequate understudy, he won't ever have the quality to start week in week out for United.
Ferguson was reportedly a fan of Leighton Baines but David Moyes, the Everton manager at the time, refused to sell him. When Moyes took over at United, he also attempted to lure the left-back to Manchester but had no luck. Baines has since signed a new contract with the Merseyside club and is very unlikely to make the move now. With him turning 30 later this year, United are unlikely to want to fork out a large fee for him now too.
United do need a new left-back though and there are several requirements. Not only do they need to be able to defend well, but a full-back at United spends more time going forward and crossing the ball in to the box than they do defending. So who are the players they should be trying to sign this summer?
Luke Shaw is the most obvious transfer target for Manchester United but whether they can sign him depends on whether Southampton are willing to sell, United meet their evaluation, Chelsea don't get there first and Shaw wants to make the move.
Shaw is a Chelsea fan and the Blues might be in the market for a new left-back with Ashley Cole likely to leave in the summer. Would he turn down his boyhood club for United? That remains to be seen.
According to WhoScored.com, only two full-backs have completed more dribbles in the league this season than Shaw, which would make him an asset at United.
Aged just 21, Ricardo Rodriguez has already made close to 20 appearances for Switzerland and is a regular for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, who are sixth in the league.
It was reported in January that Rodriguez was a target for both United and Chelsea and The Express reported his agent's claims that he may leave Germany after the World Cup.
Di Domenico confessed that any interested clubs may have to wait to sign the Switzerland international though.
"In January, he will not move from Wolfsburg because the club does not want to sell as they absolutely want to get into the Champions League," Gianluca Di Domenico said. "Maybe after the World Cup in June [he can leave] but it will not be easy as many clubs are interested in him."
According to WhoScored.com, only four players in the Bundesliga, none of whom are defenders, have completed more crosses per game than him this season. No defenders completed more dribbles per game than him either.
Manchester United thought they had signed Fabio Coentrao in the last transfer window only to find out that Real Madrid didn't file the paperwork which prevented the loan move from happening.
The Express reported that Coentrao was "reduced to tears" when talking to Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani about the collapsed loan deal. Real Madrid had reportedly been interested in signing Granada's Guilherme Siqueira but when he joined Benfica, the Spanish giants pulled the plug.
Coentrao has gone on to start just six games for Real Madrid this season and is likely to still want a move away from the club. Aged just 26, time is definitely still on his side. If United were interested just a few months ago, it stands to reason they would still be keen, and Coentrao's lack of playing time is likely to make his determination to leave Madrid even stronger.
Bastian Oczipka started his career at Bayer Leverkusen but moved to Frankfurt in 2012, after representing Germany at Under-19 and Under-20 level.
By the summer, he will have just one year remaining on his current deal and there have been no reports that he is set to sign an extension.
Only two full-backs in the Bundesliga have completed more dribbles per game than Oczipka this season, according to WhoScored.com. Only one full-back in the league has more accurate crosses per game too.
Layvin Kurzawa made his way up through the ranks at Monaco after joining the French side as a teenager. He has represented France at Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 level.
Just last month he told beIN Sports, as reported by TalkSport, that United were the club he was most keen on signing for.
"The club of my dreams? Manchester United."
He has played in almost every league game for the second-best side in France this season and boasts impressive stats.