Evans gets thumbs-up from Fergie
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Jonny Evans has grown at Manchester United and is now "arguably the best defender in the country".
Evans has been utilised by Ferguson more than perhaps he would have been this season following injuries to Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand but he has never looked out of place and has cemented himself at centre-back, proving reliable as United close in on another Premier League title. Ferguson admitted he has been impressed with the Irishman's performances and believes he has grown into a top defender. "Jonny came to us from Belfast when he was 12 or 13, always exceptionally talented but gangly with physical issues growing up," said Ferguson. "We had him out on loan with Antwerp and Sunderland and now we are seeing the value of nurturing him. 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." The United boss says he was initially unsure whether Evans could stand up to the challenge of filling in for Vidic but he has developed and learned from playing alongside the likes of Ferdinand. "I must admit my heart sank a little when I learned just how long Nemanja Vidic was going to be out," the Scot added in the United Review. "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."