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Manchester United are being linked with a move to sign their former defender Jonny Evans, who now plays for West Bromwich Albion. It is understood that the Baggies are holding out for £30million and if the Red Devils decide to meet the asking price in January, Evans could well be on his way to make a sensational return to Old Trafford. He has been in stellar form for his club and country, making Louis van Gaal’s decision to sell him seem rather unnecessary.
The Northern Ireland international was a part of United’s youth academy and steadily rose through the ranks to establish himself in the first-team. United currently have a decent crop of central defenders but with Eric Bailly set to be ruled out for months, Jose Mourinho is seeking alternatives. He still has the likes of Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof but not all of them have proven to be consistent enough. In fact, Jones is the only one who has been quite stable for United this season, so let’s compare his numbers to Evans’ and see who has done better so far.
In 13 Premier League appearances for Manchester United this season, Phil Jones has spent 1075 minutes on the field. He boasts of a pass success-rate of 91.9% and has won about 2.1 aerial duels per game. He averages 0.9 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and makes about 5.4 clearances per match. Making 0.5 dribbles and committing 0.3 fouls on an average, Jones has been quite solid for the Red Devils at the back.
Jonny Evans, on the other hand, has made 15 appearances for West Brom in the Premier League this season, having spent 1292 minutes on the field. Interestingly, he scored one goal and has even provided an assist, while also fulfilling his defensive duties. The player has a modest pass success-rate of 80.8% and has won about 1.7 aerial battles on an average. Evans makes 1.3 tackles and 1.9 interceptions per game while making 4.1 clearances. His average dribbles stand at 0.9 while Evans also commits about 0.9 fouls a game.
Evans has played about 2 games more than Jones in the Premier League and yet both players are more or less on par with their numbers. Hence, this goes on to show that the West Brom man is definitely good enough to play for United and in a situation where Bailly could be out indefinitely, Evans does seem like a good option. However, Mourinho must bear in mind that he will not be an upgrade and instead of paying so much, the manager could perhaps look for cheaper alternatives.