Sir Alex Ferguson: Jonny Evans is one of the league’s best defenders
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester Untied's defender Jonny Evans is "arguably the best defender" in the Premier League
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United’s Jonny Evans is one of the “best defenders in the country” and insists the Northern Ireland international is playing a vital role in the Red Devils’ bid for a 20th league title.
Evans has deputised for injured United captain Nemanja Vidić since the Serbian defender suffered a season-ending injury in the Champions League in December.
The 24-year-old has flourished alongside Rio Ferdinand, and the duo have helped the Red Devils keep five clean sheets in their last six league outings.
“I must admit my heart sank a little early in the season when I learned just how long our captain, Nemanja Vidic, was going to be out as a result of knee surgery,” Ferguson told United’s website.
“He and Rio Ferdinand had become the cornerstone of our defence, but Rio responded brilliantly, despite his back problem, and has now struck up a fine partnership with Jonny Evans.
“There is no doubt he has been helped playing alongside the experience of Rio and he is now arguably the best defender in the country.
“Together they have been rock solid to give us great consistency in defence with Patrice Evra, our captain these days, always a livewire at left-back and with young Rafael maturing rapidly on the other flank.”
The Northern Ireland defender arrived at Old Trafford in 2004, and after successful loan spells at Royal Antwerp and Sunderland, Evans became a first-team regular at United in 2009.
Evans had fallen down the Old Trafford pecking order before Vidić’s injury handed the Belfast-born defender the chance to cement a regular place in Ferguson’s starting line-up, making 27 league appearances this term.
“Jonny came to us from Belfast when he was 12 or 13, always exceptionally talented but gangly with physical issues growing up. We had him out on loan with Antwerp and Sunderland and we are now seeing the value of nurturing him,” added Ferguson.