Manchester City are interested in making a shock move to sign West Brom captain Jonny Evans. Sky Sports report that the defender has been on Pep Guardiola’s radar for a number of weeks now and it has been suggested that a bid has already been turned down for the player. There are conflicting reports on the stage of the interest, as it has also been claimed that talks aren’t at the stage of official bids yet.
Leicester City had bids rejected earlier in the window, but it will be much harder to resist City if they make a concrete approach. This story has come from nowhere and it is a big surprise considering Evans isn’t regarded as a top six player. It is also interesting that City are the club that is interested, due to his previous stint with Manchester United. He has been a solid competitor for West Brom, but there would be doubts about the transfer if it went through.
What would he add to Manchester City?
Pep Guardiola has an embarrassing amount of riches when it comes to attacking talent. It will be difficult to fit them into the same team, but he doesn’t have the same when it comes to defenders. Although he has addressed the full-back concerns, there are still problems at centre-back. The Spaniard played a system with three at the back against Brighton. The squad currently lacks the depth to fully commit to the formation in the long term, especially when Vincent Kompany’s dodgy injury record is taken into account.
Eliaquim Mangala may still be with the squad, but Guardiola isn’t a huge fan of the Frenchman after shipping him out on loan shortly after taking the job last summer. They need to add depth in that area and Evans would be a low-risk option. He has been a good Premier League defender in recent years and is no-nonsense in his approach. The Northern Irish international doesn’t take needless risks and that might be required considering the unpredictability of other defenders at the club.
Last season, City were criticised for lacking aggression and Guardiola’s comments regarding tackling caused concern among the media. Evans is a defender that gets in the faces of opposition players and that competitive streak might be what is required at City. He is a leader and he would be prepared to play a supporting role within the squad. In terms of his ability on the ball, the 29-year-old is comfortable in possession and would be able to adapt to the style of football being played at the Etihad Stadium.
How likely is a transfer?
This has come out of left-field, but the report from Sky Sports suggests that talks are progressing between the two clubs. They are normally reliable when it comes to transfers and this deal looks like it has a good chance of going through before the deadline. Evans may not be the typical Guardiola player, but maybe that is what City need. Their defence was too nice last season and this signing could be designed to change that. He wouldn’t play every game, but he would be a good option to have in the squad.