West Ham United manager David Moyes has defended Patrice Evra and stated that the veteran Frenchman has had a substantial positive influence since joining the club in February.

The left-back signed for the Hammers earlier in the year as he was a free agent and has provided competition for Aaron Cresswell.

However, Evra, who turns 37 later this month, found the going tough in recent games against Liverpool and Manchester City, with the ageing defender targeted by opposition attackers.

This has led to many West Ham fans questioning the former France international’s worth, while pundits were critical of the wideman’s performances.

Moyes has stated that with the Hammers not yet safe from Premier League relegation, Evra’s experience is a key attribute for the London club.

“Patrice Evra has been fantastic around the club since he arrived in February,” the West Ham boss told the club’s official website.

“His level of professionalism is at an unbelievable level with the way he goes about his work and the way he is in the dressing room.

“The people who work with him and people who have had him all say the same.

“If you look at the games we’ve played him in, two of them have been against the very best teams in this country, one of whom is in the Champions League final and the other ran away with the Premier League.

“So, I think you have to give him a little bit of leeway because two of the games have been against top teams, and we play him in those games because we understand how good he is and because he’s been used to playing in big games throughout his career.”

West Ham face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium later today and will hope to record three points to all-but secure the club’s Premier League status for another season.