West Brom and Northern Ireland centre-back Jonny Evans has raised the interest of both Arsenal and Manchester City in recent transfer windows. Despite the interest from elsewhere, the Baggies have received no bids for the defender, which is surprising considering his reputation as such a reliable defender.
Manchester City seems to have moved on to signing French centre-back Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao. Meanwhile, Arsenal are reportedly concentrating their attention on sealing a deal for Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
West Brom boss Alan Pardew has also insisted that the 30-year-old will not leave before the transfer window shuts. However, in a twist, it turns out Evans has a relegation release clause of just £3million in his contract.
Evans is a proper defender
Jonny Evans is the sort of no-nonsense centre-back that every team should have in their ranks. He concentrates on doing his job of defending and does it very well. In many ways, because he plays for West Brom, his qualities are often overlooked.
Evans is also a leader and somebody that leads by example. Evans type of defender is dying out in the game. Mainly because many managers like to play out from the back. Meaning they want ball-playing centre-backs in the heart of their defences.
However, even the ultimate fan of playing out from the back, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola appreciates that he needs a tackler and a ball-playing centre-back at the heart of his defence, hence the interest in Evans.
Unlike many, I can understand why the likes of Pep Guardiola and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger want to sign the defender. Arsenal could certainly do with some reinforcing in the centre of their defence.
Good enough to be playing for a top team
Some may disagree with my opinion on Jonny Evans, but I believe that he deserves to be playing for a top team. He was unappreciated at Manchester United, having come through their academy system. No doubt West Brom fans will not like the reality of that. However, it is the truth.
The Northern Ireland international never quite nailed down a place at United. There always seemed to be concerns that he was not good enough to play for the Red Devils on a regular basis. Yet, the centre-back picked up three Premier League title-winning medals at United.
He has spent the last few seasons at West Brom in either midtable or in a relegation fight. The player himself seems happy, but surely one last chance at the top level would interest him.
Relegation a big possibility
West Brom are in an almighty battle for survival at the bottom of the table. The Baggies have won just once in their last 22 Premier League outings. Things have taken a slight upward curve in recent weeks, yet Alan Pardew’s side are still odds of 5/4 third favourites to suffer relegation this season.
The side from the Midlands are just three points from safety currently. However, a weekend trip to runaway league leaders Manchester City in midweek is unlikely to help their situation.
Should the Midlander’s suffer relegation, then Evans would prove a big bargain signing next summer. There would be next to no chance that he would remain at the Hawthorns if the Baggies suffered the drop.
There is still time for Jonny Evans to move on the current transfer window, stranger things have happened. However, I think it is more likely he will leave the Hawthorns in the summer, whether Pardew’s side suffers relegation or not. The defender will have just 12 months left on contract in the summer. that means he may be available for a cut-price anyway.
There are certainly teams who could use his experience, quality and leadership skills, Arsenal being one of those teams.
Will Jonny Evans leave West Brom before the winter transfer window closes?
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