But bringing in new players must have a knock on effect and players will likely leave the club in order to accommodate those coming in, namely Jonny Evans and to a lesser extent John O’Shea? O’Shea, Darron Gibson and Wes Brown have already been linked with moves away from Old Trafford and whilst Gibson appears to have agreed a move to Sunderland and Brown is looking for another club in the North West will Evans and O’Shea follow suit? More to the point should they?
Jonny Evans has been ever reliable in the absence of either Rio Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidic since making his debut in 2007, however the arrival of Phil Jones has cast further doubt on Evans future at United. Evans has made 84 first team appearances and up until a loss of form this season looked to be the future of the United defence. Injury has also played it’s part as Evans found himself sidelined with injury when Rio Ferdinand was laid low with a calf injury in February. Another United youngster Chris Smalling stepped in and deputized superbly which in turn saw Evans slide down the order of choice for Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sir Alex now seems spoilt for choice at centre half which makes a change as in 2009 United had to field Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher at the back. This inevitably means that someone will have to miss out and at the moment that someone seems most likely to be Jonny Evans.
As for John O’Shea the consistency of both Rafael and Fabio asks questions about his future at United. O’Shea has been a loyal servant to the club, has often found himself in the opposing teams penalty box, scoring the odd vital goal and putting in shifts at various different positions in defence, midfield as well as a cameo in goal away to Tottenham in a 4-0 victory after Edwin Van Der Sar was carried off with a head injury
But this role as United’s utility man hasn’t always worked in his favour and over the last few seasons has found himself more of a squad player rather than a 1st team regular, now at the age of 30 and having made nearly 400 appearances for United O’shea is classed as one of the senior players for whom the youngsters can and should be looking up to.
Despite their decreased involvement, it would be a shame to lose either player. Evans can put this season down to a blip and will undoubtedly work hard in order to put himself back in the reckoning and even if not selected at center back can also do a job covering at left back whilst O’Shea, as well as still being able to do a job, is important for his experience and seniority in the team, especially having lost 3 veterans already this season. He can impart what it means to be a United player to incoming players as well as the youngsters that may be promoted to the first team this season.
Piece courtesy of Chris Wormald