The Northern Ireland international is only 25 years old, but he already boasts a vast top-flight experience, having featured 147 times for Manchester United and 31 for his country. There have been some ups and downs along his way, but along with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, he is destined to protect the heart of the defense of Manchester United for many years to come.
Evans debuted in a 2-0 Carling Cup defeat agaisnt Coventry City at Old Trafford back in 2007. It was a tough but a valuable lesson for a young lad trying to impress Sir Alex Ferguson. With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidić forming an outstanding partnership, the chances for the Belfast-born defender were limited and was loaned at Sunderland, where he became a regular helping them to avoid relegation.
With more experience under his belt, Evans returned to Manchester and enjoyed a remarkable breakthrough season, earning his first medal and playing 34 matches in the process. In May 2010 he was rewarded with a new long-term contract, which should have boosted his confidence.
However, Evans started to have a penchant for making mistakes, raising doubts over his ability to command United’s defense. His lowest point was a 4-0 Carling Cup defeat at Upton Park, a match in which Evans was subbed due to his shaky performance. Nevertheless, Ferguson knew Evans was young and learning and kept the faith in him.
Following last year’s Vidić atrocious injury sustained in Basel, the Belfast-born centre-back was urged to step up and stake his claim as a top defender. Since then, the Red Devils supporters have seen the best of this brave natural born defender.
However, what pundits and fans were not expecting from Evans is his recently developed goal-scoring instinct, which has surfaced this season by delivering a tally of four goals so far. Evans is finally showing he is now an all-rounded central defender capable of leading the backline of Manchester United and consistently providing important goals from set-pieces.