Despite the fact that Evra had put pen to paper on a 12-month extension in May, his decision to leave Old Trafford after almost a decade was largely expected, particularly as his spot in the starting XI was put under serious scrutiny by Luke Shaw’s arrival. A hugely popular figure among fans and teammates, the Frenchman was one of the best left-backs United have had over the last three decades.
“After a great deal of thought I have decided the time is right for me to leave Manchester United. It is the biggest decision of my career as this club is, and will always remain, in my heart,” Evra told United’s official website.
Evra joined United from Monaco in January 2006 and, after a stuttering start, he went on to establish himself as a cornerstone of Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, winning the Premier League five times, as well as three League Cups, the Champions League and the Club World Cup, playing 379 times for the club and scoring 10 goals, the last of which came against Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League quarter final.
In 2006/07, 2008/09 and 2009/10 he made the PFA Premier League Team of the Year and in 2009 he was included in the UEFA Team of the Year and the FIFA FIFPro World XI.