rss twitter facebook mobile

Evans: I Wanted To Go Back To Sunderland

Roy Keane certainly made a positive impression on our young defender, Jonny Evans, who has had two periods at Sunderland on loan, with him claiming that he was eager to return this season.

Evans, along with Danny Simpson, joined Keano for the second half of the 2006-2007 season, helping the North-East side return to the Premiership. He won the club’s ‘Young Player of the Year’ award, which sparked Sunderland’s interest for the following season.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson insisted we would be needing him, so prevented a repeat loan deal. Half a season went by, Evans got a couple of Champions League appearances, but was back on loan to Sunderland.

“I’m not in control at all of what happens now,” he said on his return to Manchester at the end of the season. “I will just go back to Man United and keep my head down. I’ve got used to that last season. I wasn’t involved much in the first half of the season there and I just tried to do the best I could. You are not really in control of anything that goes on when you are under contract. If any club wants to bid for me, it is up to them and Man United to decide what happens. I don’t know what is going to happen and I won’t be knocking on Sir Alex Ferguson’s door asking questions because he is in charge and I’m sure he’ll let me know what’s happening.”

It seems as though Evans isn’t really that arsed where he is, as long as he gets to play football. That’s admirable in a lot of ways, particularly in light of what Keane has said recently, however unlike most of our youth players, his sole aim doesn’t seem to be winning a first team place at United.

“When Roy Keane says he wants you, it’s a massive compliment,” Evans told the local rags during the season. “If he wanted to make this move permanent, it’s something I would want to talk about. Playing in the Premier League in games that matter is what it’s all about, and what I want to be doing for a few years to come. But nothing has been said at all by Sunderland or Manchester United about anything beyond this season. I am really enjoying playing a full part in Sunderland’s season. Sometimes it seems a bit unreal that I am back at Sunderland. It didn’t look like it was going to happen when the gaffer (Keane) asked the question early in the season and United wanted me there. But it’s great to be playing and testing myself in Premier League games, and it’s something I want a lot more of. United is the club I support and to have the chance to make it there is still a great opportunity that no player surrenders easily. But if I was ever going to leave Manchester United, Sunderland would definitely be an option for me – if they want me.”

Following Ferguson’s decision to keep him at Old Trafford again, Evans has reiterated his desire to go back to Sunderland, sounding as though he’s already planning his exit.

“I had a taste of Premier League football with Sunderland last season and it made me want more,” said Evans. “I wanted to join Sunderland this summer, but Sir Alex Ferguson made it clear that he needs me for cover at the back and has said that I will get games. I think that if it gets to the stage where I am not getting enough games, then he [Ferguson] would allow me to leave in order for my career to progress. I will continue to work hard at United and who knows what may happen in the future.”

Does Evans have a future at United?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. OTRed says:

    Woohooo, Le Arse lost, couldn’t be happier….

    Anyway, on Evans we clearly need him to stay as we’ve sold the two back-up CB’s we had, so we need him when Rio or Vidic gets crocked, which is a definite certainty, we should give him some Carling Cup games too, we clearly can’t afford to lose him.

  2. Robinson Macgregor says:

    Put a bid in for …O Shea ..Roy…Look he’s Irish…he’s from Cork….You obviously hold him in as high a regard as the rest of us

  3. Tom F says:

    OTRed… I’m glad you can be happy about Arsenal losing after what happened at Anfield… I can’t.

    Anyway, I think Evans has a future at United on the basis that he doesn’t want to play week in, week out. I just cannot see it happening to be honest. It is a shame when we see players like him, Simmo and Pique slowly slip away from our Club just because of the simple fact that we have better players in their positions now.

    Yes, we need Jonny but only for cover and I can understand him to a certain extent. While it may be odd for me to admire the fact that somebody is looking outside of Old Trafford at such a young age it is still admirable to see that his main focus is to play football, to work hard for his living and not sit in the stands every week getting paid a small fortune for doing nothing.

    It wouldn’t be right just to loan players out year after year, it gives them great experience but also we need to think of them and surely there comes a time when players want to settle.

    I’d be very happy if things did work out with him and he did have a long career at United but can understand if he doesn’t want to do what O’Shea and Fletcher do right now. If he is given the go ahead by Fergie to leave before becoming a part of our squad that is relied on, I’d give him my best wishes, though would over all be disappointed in United rather than him.

  4. Jimmybob says:

    Evans and his ilk are getting right on my tits, if he wants to get into the 1st team he has to be a better centre back than rio and vidic , and he isn’t .
    he isn’t a better full back than evra (not by a long chalk) or even brown, we have sold pique and silvestre he will get plenty of game time

    untill then shut up and get on with it, is a relegation battle with sunderland that attractive?

  5. black cat says:

    Evans is in an interesting and at same time frustrating position at present, he is on the fringe of Man U 1st team with Fergie hanging a carrot in front of him with all his promises of playing, fergie is just looking after the team as a whole as he correctly should be, and Evans clearly understands this. But at the same time he knows he could be left on the bench or in the stands for most of the season yet again….its a limbo situation!
    Evans is displaying a rare diplomatic and philosophical outlook (sittin on the fence!) so not to mess up his Man U relationship but at same time he looking after his own interests as a player and is wanting and needing regular games under his belt as Keane has offered in past and promised for the future up here at Sunderland.
    Jimmybob, 2 ov ur comments are bit negative n assuming; 1stly we just need to look at how likes of Gareth Barry and Berbatovs pathetic club loyalty n respect does damage to the game in general b4 tarring Evans with same brush (and we cant), 2ndly ; a “relegation battle at Sunderland” shows how far behind some people are in following teams other than their own club!! u will see that Keane has made some correct purchases over the summer and this better quality is paying early dividends already in 2 games. We will not be in the same relegation battle all season like last year, unless we have repeat of the rare situation where just 8 points or so divide the bottom 8-10 teams again all season ! (with exception of poor Derby of course!)……. like Keane said… “the premier is now a 3 division battle and were trying for their 2nd and 1st division”…….i believe were firmly out of the 3rd division and settling nicely into the 2nd!! lol

  6. another mackem - Fyl2u from the SAFC forum @ says:

    Well, just like SAFC it looks like Man U have both their fair share of balanced intelligent fans and insane muppets, so we’ve got something in common.

    To many Man U fans, Johnny Evans is just another defender who’s not good enough to hold down a regular first team place, but to SAFC he’s a star. The best we’ve had in years, and a possible legend in the making.
    We love him. We really do. And he knows it.

    Hardly surprising then that, when given a choice, “be an anonymous bench-sitter for one of the biggest clubs in the world” or “be a living legend for a sleeping giant that is starting to awaken” he might be tempted by the latter.

    “Sleeping giant, who do you think you are?” I hear you ask. Some of you may be surprised to learn that only Liverpool (18), Man U (17), Arsenal (13), Everton (9) and Aston Villa (7) have won the top flight title more times than Sunderland (6).

    If Sir Alex honestly believes that Johnny will soon be good enough to hold down a regular first team place at Man U, then fair enough, but if his sole reason for keeping him is due to lack of cover in case the first choice pairing get injured, then it’s unfair to keep him at Man U when he could be making a real name for himself elsewhere.

  7. jimmybob says:

    black cat i have no axe to grind with sunderland or roy keane and i hope you do well but i have had enough of kids like evans spouting their mouth off , hell stay at untd untill fergie decides hes ready for the 1st team or we are ready to sell him untill then he can shut his mouth and be thankful he is at such a great club

    good luck for the season but keep your hands of our players ;)

  8. denton davey says:

    If he wants to be at the double champions then he has to pay his dues, and wait for his chance – remember, sixteen months ago against Milan the back line was comprised of an unfit-Vidic, Brown, Silvestre, and CowboyHeinze. If he’s patient, then it is more than likely that an opportunity will present itself that he will have to grab with both hands. If he would prefer to be first-choice for an also-ran then that’s his choice but, currently, he has no chance whatsoever of dislodging either Vidic or Rio from the best central defensive pairing.

  9. irwinworshipper says:

    O’Shea is from Waterford not Cork

  10. belfast77 says:

    I guess Evans wont be joining Keano at Sunderland after all!!!!!!


You must be logged in to post a comment.