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Erik ten Hag is “so happy” about Man United decision after transfer conversation recalled



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Credit: Man Utd

Erik ten Hag has stated that he is “so happy” that Manchester United resigned defender Jonny Evans in the summer after the latest win against Everton.

Evans, 36, rejoined United in the summer on a one-year deal after initially signing on a short-term contract for the pre-season tour.

The defender was initially expected to provide additional cover in the position and potentially play a couple of cup matches. Instead, he’s been a consistent feature in the team due to various injury problems to the likes of Lisandro Martínez and Harry Maguire.

With 24 appearances so far this season, Evans has also started important fixtures against the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Bayern Munich. Importantly, he has also been one of United’s more reliable players.

The veteran defender received a standing ovation from Old Trafford on the weekend, after being key in the 2-0 win over Everton. He was nicknamed “Jonny ZIDANE Evans” by captain Bruno Fernandes on social media.

“Oh yeah, very,” responded Erik ten Hag when asked if he was pleased with Evans’ performance.

“We are so pleased we signed the fifth centre-back because normally, you say, why five centre-backs in the squad? But you see, we are so happy we did this.

“As you see, his performance across the season, he’s such an important player for this squad. [He will] always be there when he’s needed and give good performances.”

Evans, who initially came through the academy at Old Trafford but left in the summer of 2015, was playing his football at Leicester City last term. His injury was considered as part of the reason for their relegation from the Premier League.

However, the defender was fit to face United in a 1-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium last term and he has since detailed a conversation he had with Ten Hag after the game concluded.

“I think back to when we played last season actually,” he revealed to club media earlier this season. “We played quite early on in the season, United won 1-0 at Leicester, and I think I had a good game that night.

“He [Ten Hag] gave me a little bit of a jokey comment of ‘do you fancy coming back?’ So I was like ‘yeah, yeah, of course, no problem’. And it’s funny how things work out. I just don’t think either of us thought that would’ve ever have been a possibility.

“But I suppose maybe he thought, with my experience, and my experience of the club before, and the relationship I had with everyone here, it wouldn’t be a problem for me at this stage of my career, coming in and settling in. I’m feeling part of it and being able to provide something.”