It is a strange time for Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans, when he first broke into the Manchester United first team he was thought to be a bit of a sensation, things however didn’t continue on that upwards trajectory.
There have even been reports in recent months suggesting that Evans may be moved on this Summer after suffering a dip in form and having had less opportunities to play, the defender however has moved to quash these reports and has claimed he is staying put.
The two clubs who were supposedly interested in the defender were Everton, and former club Sunderland, whom he was with on loan for parts of 2007 and 2008.
Evans started turning out for the Manchester United youth academy in 2004 when he was 16, and he performed well from a young age, his parents even moved the family away from Northern Ireland so that they could support him. Like many young Manchester United stars he spent a loan period in Belgium playing for Royal Antwerp, a feeder club of the Old Trafford side. During his time in Antwerp he played with Darron Gibson, Fraizer Campbell and Danny Simpson.
After spending the first half of the 06-07 season with Antwerp he agreed to spend the second half on loan at Sunderland as he was keen to gain more first team experience with an English team, and from there things have progressed well. His Premier League debut for Manchester United came during the 08-09 season and he went on to make 17 appearances.
Now in his third season, Evans has not really become a regular fixture in the United first team, having just made 9 league appearances this term. It is for that reason, and a slight dip in form that has brought about questions over the players future, the signing of Chris Smalling has as well made things difficult for Evans. He however is adamant that he has never considered a move away from Old Trafford, saying:
“The plan for me is to get back into the Manchester United team and play well. That’s all I’m interested in.”.
Clearly the player is determined to stay at the Manchester club after this Summer and I would be very surprised if United’s hierarchy did move him on, however with reports of them looking for another central defender this Summer, and with Smalling overtaking him in the United pecking order it may not be a bad move for the player.
I would have thought he was best sticking it out for another season and seeing if any more games are on the horizon. He would have been a fine player for Sunderland and Everton and I am sure that both clubs will show interest this Summer should Sir Alex Ferguson decide it is time for Evans to move on.
He has the potential to be a very solid defender, but unless he can recapture his form of last season I am not sure he will ever perform at the very top level, so ultimately it could come down to how long he is happy to stay as a squad player.
I doubt Evans will move this Summer but if things don’t pick up in the first half of next season he may very well be on the way next January.
For more of my thoughts on the latest transfer rumours, follow me on twitter @soccercityjoe!
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