Jonny Evans joins West Bromwich Albion


Jonny Evans has joined West Bromwich Albion on a four-year deal for a fee of £6m, rising to £8m with add-ons.

Evans will join up with former Manchester United players Ben Foster, James Chester and Darren Fletcher, who was made club captain by Tony Pulis on his arrival in January.

The Northern Ireland International will also find comfort in his national side teammates Chris Brunt and Gareth McAuley.

Two loan spells at Sunderland sandwiched his United debut in 2007, and Evans went on to make 198 appearances across all competitions for the club, winning three Premier League titles, two League Cups, two Community Shields and the Club World Cup in 2008 in the process.

A loan spell at Belgian side Royal Antwerp preceded his first spell up in the Northeast, with the relationship between United and both clubs healthy to say the least.

Evans was a reliable back-up to Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic for the 2008/09 season, making 34 appearances during that campaign, his second highest in his time at Old Trafford.

His game time decreased over the following two seasons, but the departure of Wes Brown to Sunderland in the summer of 2011 prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to hand Evans the number six shirt, showcasing how highly he was rated at the time.

A huge injury to Vidic against FC Basle in the Champions League led to Evans partnering Ferdinand for the majority of the remainder of the season, as the man from Belfast made 40 appearances in total.

Having scored just once for United in his career at that point, Evans added goals to his game in the following campaign, scoring four times, a respectable feat for a centre-back.

With the injuries and age of Ferdinand and Vidic, Evans was beginning to mature into the commanding defender that his potential sought him to be.

Sadly, this wasn’t the case, as over the previous two seasons, his own injuries and performances have affected his stock at the club.

Evans was told at the end of last season that he was free to find another club, but Louis van Gaal respected and admired his professionalism throughout his short time in charge.

This led to him being included on the club’s U.S. tour; with the manager happy for him to see out the final year of his contract should no potential buyer be interested.

Speculation grew over a move to Everton, where again the relationship between the two clubs has been healthy over the years, with many players swapping one for the other, but it was West Brom who have swooped in, and gained themselves an experienced pro, with a winning mentality added to their dressing room.

A new challenge now lies before Evans, a product of United’s academy, and we wish him all the best with his future.

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