Patrice Evra: Juventus' unsung hero
Signed as a backup, Evra has a major factor for Juve's success this season
When Patrice Evra arrived in Turin last summer from Manchester United for approximately £1.2m at the age of 33, there were eyebrows raised from the Juventus supporters. He was labelled as just another ageing defender to drop out of the Premier League to play in the ‘comfortable’ Italian league. Patrice, along with Nemanja Vidic and Ashley Cole made the jump to the peninsula and unlike the other two, the Frenchman has been a success.
Initially brought in to cover for Kwadwo Asamoah who would be absent due to the African Cup of nations, Evra has played more than expected. The Ghanaian suffered a cartilage injury whilst playing in the tournament and was ruled out for four months.
The former French captain has featured in twenty league games this season and has made eight appearances in the Champions League. The Italian champions have conceded just twenty goals in the league and six goals in Europe’s premier competition. Evra’s experience has been pivotal to this Juve side and has benefited from manager Massimiliano Allegri’s willingness to play four at the back.
Speaking the native language has helped Evra
The former Monaco player has settled in very well, the fact he can interact with his teammates has certainly helped. He had learnt the language and played in Italy earlier in his career, with spells at Marsala in Serie C1 and Monza in Serie B in the late 1990s.
The team have welcomed him with open arms. French compatriot Paul Pogba refers to him as ‘Uncle Paddy’. They have a great relationship on and off the field and that can only help Pogba with his development.
Massimiliano Allegri has been complimentary of the full back;
“He’s a very intelligent player who has played in England for a long time, playing a very different style of football there. But he’s having an impressive season with us. He’s a strong personality, an important player, and showing why he’s been playing at the top level for so long. His career speaks for itself.”
With the Serie A title already wrapped up, Evra can add that another Champions League to his extensive list of honours which includes; five Premier League titles, three English League cups, one Champions League and the Club World Cup.
The left back’s mighty runs forward along with intelligent positioning has also helped his side reach the Coppa Italia final and the Champions League semi-final.
There is no doubt about it, he’s been a brilliant signing.