Manchester City have been strongly linked with a move for former Manchester United man Jonny Evans in the last couple of days, with it emerging that the West Brom captain is a target for Pep Guardiola.
Now it may come as a shock, sure. But ignoring the fact he was a former Manchester United player and ignoring the fact his name isn’t of the extravagant nature that we have become accustomed to – it may not be the worst deal of all time. It’s also something that City fans are going to get used to as it’s a very real possibility, with sports betting sites putting him at 4/9 to leave Tony Pulis’ side before the transfer window is over.
Jonny Evans comes with his positives, he’s a solid centre-back with an abundance of Premier League experience – something which could be vital when called upon.
We spoke to West Brom fan site, Read West Brom, about his performances throughout his time with the club and there wasn’t a bad word said. In fact, they even described him as their best player since signing from Manchester United in 2015, stating that Evans had “so rarely put a foot wrong”, something that Pep Guardiola will be looking for in his players.
A worry for Pep Guardiola has been the absence of Vincent Kompany and subsequently how the team have dealt in those situations, hint, it’s not very well. The performances of both John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have come into question without an authoritative figure beside them, making reckless decisions resulting in few clean sheets. Whilst Jonny Evans is quite obviously not on the same level as Vincent Kompany, he does possess leadership skills that may well come in handy if the Belgian does have to spend time on the sidelines this season – whether that’s through injury or simply being rested.
Manchester City started the season against Brighton with 5 at the back, 3 of which are centre-backs. Currently, City’s only back-up options are Tosin Adarabioyo and Eliaquim Mangala – whilst not the worst, it’s obvious to see that Pep Guardiola has little faith in the duo and therefore would like another option. It’s likely that Mangala will head off to Inter Milan in the coming days and Adarabioyo could head out on loan before the window is over, in which case another expected option at centre-back is needed. That option is Jonny Evans.
The obvious downside is his price-tag. Tony Pulis has said it will have to be a ‘very, very good offer’ in order to make West Brom relinquish a player they don’t particular need to sell. The most recent figure being floated about is £22 million, which does sound a lot for what some may call a Manchester United reject, but unfortunately that’s the current market.
In my opinion a deal for Jonny Evans would not be as bad as made out – he brings a wealth of Premier League experience and leadership skills. As a fourth choice option, not to mention an addition to the home-grown quota, it wouldn’t be so bad.