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Ex-Man United manager agrees with Erik ten Hag’s praise for “important player”



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Former Manchester United coach/reserve manager René Meulensteen has praised Erik ten Hag’s decision to bring Jonny Evans back to the club.

Evans, 36, initially rejoined United in the summer in a bid to maintain his fitness, before resigning with the Premier League side following an impressive pre-season.

Since then, Evans, a three-time Premier League winner with the Red Devils during his first stint at the club, has received a wealth of praise.

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Making eighteen appearances in the league alone, Evans’ former teammate Rio Ferdinand recently stated that the Northern Irishman “hasn’t put a foot wrong” since his return to the club.

Meanwhile, United manager Ten Hag told reporters last week that Evans would “always be there when he’s needed and give good performances”.

Speaking on the Coaches’ Voice space on X, Meulensteen, who managed Evans as part of the United reserve team back in 2005, agreed with both Ten Hag and Ferdinand, heaping praise on the Northern Ireland international.

“I have always had the utmost respect for Jonny because as a centre-back I thought he was a really good footballer,” Meulensteen explained. “He understood the game really well, was calm on the ball, good with both feet, and he’s a winner.

“He’s a competitor, vastly experienced. We all know the way he came back to Manchester United, with Ten Hag liking what he saw, and he thought ‘he can still do a job for me.’ And, I still think he can.

“But, he is coming to an age now where, at times, you can see that the game is bypassing him. You could see that yesterday [against Manchester City] in the latter stages of the game when he had to come off.

“Nothing but praise for him, [he’s fantastic], and a top, top professional.”

With his 18 appearances in the league this season, only Raphaël Varane and Diogo Dalot have played more league matches as part of United’s defence than Evans.