Alan Smith claims Leicester City have a player ‘any manager would love’ in Johnny Evans
Alan Smith has claimed Leicester City have a player ‘any manager would love’ in Johnny Evans after naming the defender in his Premier League Team of the Season for Sky Sports.
Smith is the only one of Sky Sports’ pundits to select the Northern Ireland international, with Wesley Fofana favoured by Don Goodman and Jamie Redknapp.
Others have chosen to select Manchester City’s Ruben Dias, John Stones and Manchester United’s Harry Maguire, while Paul Merson joined Smith in naming Kasper Schmeichel in goal.
Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers fielded Evans in 28 possible Premier League squads this season, having been without the 31-year-old either due to injury or suspension sporadically across the campaign.
Evans played a key role in the King Power Stadium natives contending much of the term inside the top-four and vying for a place in the Champions League, but was unable to help his side avoid defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on the final day due to a heel injury.
Leicester may have been able to hold on at home to Ryan Mason’s Spurs had Evans been on the pitch, with Smith lauding the 6 ft 2 enforcer’s ability to organise Rodgers’ men.
“I’ve gone with two Leicester players in defence,” Smith said, “with Kasper Schmeichel in goal – he’s pulled off some fantastic saves this season – and their organiser and centre-back any manager would love, Jonny Evans.”
Leicester clearly missed Evans at home to Tottenham on the final day of the Premier League season, with the Foxes unable to keep their heads without their organiser who Rodgers lauds as a ‘super intelligent guy’ (Sky Sports).
John Terry also waxes lyrical over Evans, calling him ‘the most underrated defender in the Premier League’, making Smith’s inclusion of the 31-year-old in his Team of the Season a welcome reward for the man who plays a relatively simple game but to great effect.
Evans’ reading of the game has also been at a very high level this term, sensing where the danger is coming from and reacting to it, which allows Leicester to play a high defensive line and challenge for Europe by letting the other defenders know where to be and act.
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