I’m sure the first name that popped into everyone’s mind when they read the title of the article was Chris Smalling, but this article isn't about him either. The player I’m talking about hasn't really received as much plaudits from the press and fans like Smalling and Jones have, but he has been just as impressive as the duo.
It’s none other than our Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans, once hailed as the Golden Boy and the future of our defense, his fall from grace last season was sudden and shocking as his performances did not justify the enormous talent and potential he possesses. But this season has seen a revival of sorts for Evans, and he seems to be slowly getting back to the player who had endeared himself to the Old Trafford faithful just a few years ago!
Evans initially made a name for himself after a very successful loan spell at Sunderland, following which Sir Alex promoted him to the first team in the 2008/09 season and he went on to play an integral part in the run of games during which Edwin Van der Sar set a record of consecutive clean sheets kept!
But last season saw him struggle for form and he went to produce one bad performance after the other, and eventually Sir Alex was forced to drop him from the 1st team. His performances had reached such a low that even the mention of his name in the starting XI could cause a fan to groan in fear of what might happen!
Though he started to put in good performances by the end of last season, most of the damage had already been done with his name being tipped for an exit from Old Trafford in the summer. He had gone from no. 1 prospect to a surplus player. But Sir Alex kept faith in him and gave him a chance to redeem himself.
This season he has done exactly that, even though most of the frenzy about our talented young defenders has been around Jones and Smalling. Evans has been ever present at the back, doing his best to ensure we get a clean sheet and all 3 points.
I think Evans deserves more than a mention for the hard work that he’s done this season, Evans is sure to be an integral part of any Manchester United defense in the future, and it’s too early to claim that Smalling and Jones will be our future Centre back pairing, since Jonny’s still in with a shout!