Rio Ferdinand sparks rumours of Evra return at Old Trafford

Rio Ferdinand sparks rumours of Evra return at Old Trafford

The former United centre back sent social media into overdrive with a message to his one time Old Trafford team mate

nd-ekwegh
Nd Ekwegh

Rio Ferdinand inadvertently sent social media into overdrive as he sent out a message to his former United colleague, Patrice Evra, asking if he was making a return to the Theatre of Dreams.

Posting via his Instagram account, Ferdinand said: "Throwing it out there... @patrice.evra I'm hearing through social media you coming home bro?!? Talk to me!" 

This immediately led to fans and pundits alike speculating and commenting on a potential return to Manchester for the United favourite.

The former England and Manchester United centre-back later clarified his comment on a different social media platform saying he was just relaying what he had seen on social media on his return to the UK.

The stories of United bringing Patrice Evra back as cover for the left back position has been gathering pace but it is hard to see any truth in this particular rumour.

United fully staffed at left back

For starters, Jose Mourinho currently has 5 players who can play in the left back slot in Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and Timothy Fosu Mensah. He also has another player on loan who he believes has a future at the club in Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.

It is unlikely that Mourinho would be looking at the left back position as one he needs to remedy and even if he was looking for a short-term fix, despite his fabled love for experienced players, it is unlikely he would opt for Evra.

Nostalgia - Reality

Sir Alex Ferguson once said that; "nostalgia plays tricks on people's minds” when confronting the accusation that his last title-winning team were average compared to previous teams he had managed. With a big clamour from United fans to see Evra return, those wise words from the United legend come to mind.

Patrice Evra was and remains a fan favourite, a club legend who was part of a United team that won numerous trophies including playing in 3 Champions League finals for the club. He was part of a dominant back 5 that included Edwin van der Sar, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Gary Neville. His contribution to United cannot be under estimated. However, sentiment aside, by his final season it became evident that the hustle and bustle of the Premier league was no longer suited to the French man as he got older and the more tactical game play of the Serie A gave Evra a resurgence that has seen him win more titles and play in yet another Champions league final.

Evra has hardly featured for Juventus this season, losing his place to the younger and more mobile Alex Sandro while in last year’s Champions League game against Bayern Munich he was exposed for pace by Arjen Robben.

This is not to take anything away from Patrice Evra as the model professional and all around great guy. A man who would be a great addition to the United dressing room and a great model to younger players. But on the pitch, Patrice Evra is probably not the addition a resurgent Manchester United team need and you’d have to imagine this is where Evra wants to be, on the pitch.

At 35, the exuberant French full back who is in love with the game surely wants more time playing rather than to spend his last years on a substitute bench.

Carrick-Zlatan comparisons

Those who point to Michael Carrick and Zlatan Ibrahimovich being stalwarts of the United team despite being 35 as well, ignore the fact that neither Zlatan nor Carrick would have to deal with the problem of a pacy winger running at them at full blast, probably on the counter attack, something that most United full backs would have to deal with.

A return may also tarnish the legacy Evra has established. In many ways, you could argue that Evra’s one time United team-mate Wayne Rooney has stayed at the club a season or two too long and risks being remembered as a liability to the team that fans would rather see on the bench than in the starting line-up rather than as the boy wonder who terrorised defences and times clawed United back into games single handily. It would be a shame for Evra to be remembered for a United return that went wrong rather than for what he achieved for the club beforehand.

It is possible that the United legend may be on his way back to Manchester in a coaching capacity. After all, some time ago Rio suggested then free agent Nemanja Vidic may be a possibility for Manchester United, Vidic announced his retirement from football a couple of weeks later.

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