Arsenal are interested in signing former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans, according to reports in Northern Ireland (via The Belfast Telegraph).
Arsenal are undoubtedly in the market for a centre back following the injury to Per Mertesacker which will rule the German out for upwards of five months. Arsenal also went on their tour of the United States without defenders Gabriel Paulista and Laurent Koscielny who were suffering from tonsillitis and given an extended break respectively.
Arsenal have been strongly linked with a move for Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi and the clubs are in talks for the player but this new link for Jonny Evans goes against that. The Belfast Telegraph reports that Arsenal are now turning their attention to Evans who starred for Northern Ireland at the European Championships in France. The newspaper claims that Arsene Wenger views Evans as an ideal stand-in for the injured Mertesacker.
Evans spent ten years at Old Trafford, making nearly 200 appearances for the club in all competitions. In 2015 the defender moved to West Bromwich Albion where he impressed during his 30 Premier League matches.
Evans is undoubtedly an experienced defender who has played in all manner of major tournaments. He also has the experience of playing for a big club and in a lot of ways this rumours makes a lot of sense. But there are a number of hang-ups including the price tag on the Northern Irishman’s head.
Evans moved to The Hawthorns for £8 million last summer but West Brom are thought to want upwards of £15 million for their star defender. It hardly seems like a good investment considering the club could reportedly sign German World Cup winner Mustafi for around £20 million. While Evans has the experience of playing at a major club, he was also viewed as surplus to requirements by Manchester United. Former manager Louis Van Gaal even preferred to convert Daley Blind into a centre back than go with Evans. That is damning.