Manchester United have decided to keep Patrice Evra on the roster despite a hosts of dramatic roster moves to remove aging talent from the squad.
Mike Keegan of the Manchester Evening News reported news of the extension:
According to the Premier League list Patrice Evra has had his contract extended. #mufc— Mike Keegan (@mikekeeganmen) May 23, 2014
The club then confirmed the move on its account:
Manchester Evening News also provided a look at the players who were released from the squad:
BREAKING Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Jack Rudge, Jack Barmby & Federico Macheda released by #MUFC— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) May 23, 2014
Evra made 33 league starts for United this season, which was the most of any player besides goalkeeper David De Gea. He finished the year with one goal and three assists while remaining a valuable defender on the left side of the pitch.
Still, his extension becomes a bit of a surprise after multiple reports that he was headed elsewhere this summer. Nick Lustig of the Daily Star reported that Evra was on his way toward Juventus while Jason Burt of The Telegraph noted that he was likely going to Inter Milan.
After Manchester United completed a miserable season where they finished seventh in the league table and missed out on European competitions, it would not have been surprising to see the club release the 33-year-old left back and attempt to work toward a youth movement.
Obviously, these rumours turned out to be false as Evra will remain with the squad and become a veteran presence for what should still be a younger roster next season.
Tom Doyle of ESPN FC notes the good and the bad that will come with this signing:
Looks like Patrice Evra is staying at Man Utd. Another year of heroic attacking & staggeringly poor positioning. Van Gaal will have kittens.— Tom Doyle (@TomJDoyle) May 23, 2014
No matter what is expected out of Evra next season, you can be certain that new manager Louis van Gaal will need to make some changes in order to find more success on the pitch. This will come from outside signings as well as development to the current roster.
On a squad used to winning every season, another seventh-place finish in the English Premier League will be unacceptable.
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