Manchester United manager David Moyes insists Shinji Kagawa's absence from the Barclays Premier League so far this season is no reflection on his ability.
Many supporters have been left mystified by Kagawa's omission, particularly given United only collected one win from their first three games.
Yet Moyes is adamant there is nothing sinister going on.
"There are quite a lot of players who have not featured yet," he said.
"But if you look at it most of them were late back from international duty after the Confederations Cup, then they were away for a friendly international and a long-haul flight, then they were away again for another international.
"If you look at the reasons why people haven't played it is more to do with them not being available for that to happen."
"He (Evra) knew exactly what we were doing," the Scot said.
"I just felt we needed to make sure we had good cover for Patrice.
"He has played brilliantly well but I hope we are going to have a season that is going to include 60 or 70 games.
"Patrice played a big majority of the games last season but I just want to make sure if he broke down I had the right people around to help me.
"But if you play for Manchester United there is always someone out there getting ready to take your jersey. It is up to you to fight and make sure you keep it."
It does not look like the Baines deal is going to be revived, although there has been some good news at United's Aon Training Complex over the past few days with the return to training of Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher, who has been plagued by a chronic bowel condition for over two years.
"Darren Fletcher came back in on Thursday," Moyes told reporters.
"He's a long way away from being ready and we'll use the doctors' and physios' advice, but we'll give him little bits of football and just pick him up over the coming months and see how he goes.
"He was back in training on Friday and it's great to have him around. It looks as if he's on the road to recovery.
"He's lost a lot of weight and there's weight to come back but the big thing is he's back in."