Erik ten Hag explains the thought behind signing Jonny Evans on a short-term deal
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag believes the move to sign Jonny Evans on a short-term deal is good for all parties involved.
A couple of days ago, news came out of the blue that United have signed Evans on a short-term deal. He is a part of the first-team squad in the USA pre-season tour.
Although the 35-year-old has signed a deal for the pre-season, he could be given a year’s contract if he does well in the games in the USA. Several Premier League clubs are also interested in signing him.
“I know him for a long time, so I know his place was here, in Manchester. He came to train with us, to work on his fitness, and when I said, ‘Yeah’. Not all the players are in – internationals are out, still having their break, so I thought it was a good idea to help each other out. Jonny can work on his fitness and he can help us out.
“The level, we know he is a really experienced player but also a very good person, a big personality, and I think he has big authority as well. He will help the young players especially. It is a benefit for both sides.”
Even before the contract was offered, Evans was training with the United squad after being released from Leicester City following their relegation to the Championship.
The 35-year-old was a United player for nine years between 2006 and 2015. In that period also, he had loan spells at Royal Antwerp and Sunderland.
The Northern Irishman is an experienced defender now who knows the game inside out. Had he been fit for the majority of last season, Leicester might have been better defensively and that could have been enough to save them from relegation.
Whether he gets a contract beyond the pre-season or not, would depend on how he does in it. There is no harm in keeping a seasoned campaigner in the squad for a tough season ahead.
Evans’ experience would be useful for the likes of Lisandro Martinez. He can also play a few games and fill in when required.
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All things point to the direction that United should offer him a season contract. Let’s see what ten Hag and his team think.