Having spent his entire career at Manchester United, Jonny Evans was told by Louis van Gaal that he was free to look for a new club last summer. Evans was convinced by former teammate Darren Fletcher to follow him to West Brom, where the Scotsman has been captain since signing for them just over a year ago.
Ahead of Sunday, with United set to take on West Brom, Evans has spoken about why he left his boyhood club.
I have to say, I have really enjoyed it. When you are out of the team and not playing regularly, there is always that question in your head of ‘When am I going to play next?
I have enjoyed the feeling – players talk about it all the time – that Saturday feeling of going out and playing football, and that has been one of the biggest things. I had a fantastic time at United and I loved it, but there came a point when I had to make a decision. I wanted to play, wanted to show people what I could do.
I have ambitions to become as good a centre-half as I can be and show people I can be as good a player as I can be and finish my career with no regrets.
Evans won’t be given the opportunity to show Van Gaal what he is missing on Sunday, as the defender has a hamstring injury, but he insists that he had a lot of time for United’s manager.
Louis van Gaal is a fantastic coach and there is a lot of stuff I really liked under him. I feel fortunate that I have had the chance to work with him because I do think that myself, and every other player there, will have learned something from him.
Even though I wasn’t playing, I appreciated the stuff he was doing and I think he gave me a fair crack of the whip. Whenever I had the chance to play, I didn’t perform to my best and I didn’t believe that my performances warranted me getting back in the team. I can be honest about that. I can look at myself and analyse my performances.