« Back

THE VERDICT | Why Patrice Evra should join Marseille

Caught at a crossroads between three destinations, Patrice Evra is trying to find the place where he will possibly end his career.

Should it be back in the Premier League to an unnamed club believed to be fighting against relegation? Should it be playing with the young stars of Lyon, guiding them back into the Champions League? Or should it be one final chance at an exciting project with Marseille?

Let’s cast off one option now and that is the move to England. That one already seems to be off the table now the Ligue 1 clubs have shown their hand and in all honesty, it was the one that would probably interest the French international the least.

Toughing it out at the bottom end of the table is just not what someone who has won numerous trophies across a great career wants to worry about before retirement. Neither is a potential future in the Championship if he cannot quite turn that ship around without added help.

So, that leaves the two French clubs. Neither would be a poor choice for the player and neither would not benefit from his input but at this moment, he needs to go to Marseille.

For starters, he is at least guaranteed a starting birth at the Stade Vélodrome. In the last few weeks, centre backs Karim Rekik and Doria have been debutising at the left-back position Evra calls home, so the competition for that place is absolutely up for grabs.

While some would argue he is a better option than Jérémy Morel at Lyon, that is not a foregone conclusion. The former OM man has been solid so far this season, including a good performance against his previous employers so it won’t be like Evra will simply stroll into the starting line-up.

Second of all, Marseille would value his leadership skills more than Lyon. At the moment, OM have some talent in their squad that should get better during the summer but they lack a real captain with the experience that Evra possesses.

Having won Champions’ League medals and domestic league titles in England and Italy, the 35-year-old has a depth of knowledge that few others have access to. Imagine how that would lift the likes of Maxime Lopez, Morgan Sanson and even Florian Thauvin in terms of knowing what it takes to succeed at the highest level.

Again, that is not to say that it would not be a benefit to Lyon as well. While they also have a few names with solid experience in their background, none quite match the Juventus man in terms of clout and should he chose Parc OL, they will gladly take a sip from his well of wisdom.

But added to all that, the main reason that Marseille seem to be pushing so hard for him, is that he could be the real kick-start to their project. When you look at his social media posts, while sometimes a little cheesy, it shows his at-ease character that clearly a number of his teammates love.

Look at the likes of Paul Pogba, who affectionately calls him Uncle Pat, or the recent post of him talking Portuguese with Anderson at Manchester United, or the friendship he struck with Park Ji-Sung that led him to learn Korean.

Not only is he a big name through the door, he is a big personality that is a magnet for positivity. Players beam when they talk about him and that alone will help players who are considering to make the switch to the south of France.

There is no wrong move here for anyone. Evra, while slower than he was in his heyday and not the truly consistent performer, still adds great value to a club wherever he ends up.

But when you weigh up everything, surely a project to finish a wonderful career back in his home country may be too difficult to ignore.

N.S.

 

Latest news

Price Based Country test mode enabled for testing Japan. You should do tests on private browsing mode. Browse in private with Firefox, Chrome and Safari