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Standing at six foot two inches with a sizeable physique, Jonny Evans has quickly risen to become one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old Manchester United centre-half has hardly had it easy since linking up with the club’s first team in 2006. He was written off by many outside the game at the top level, with the opinion that he would emerge into nothing more than an ‘average’ defender.

The Northern-Irish international spent two loan spells at Sunderland in 2007 and 2008, and it is well known that they tried to sign him on a permanent basis in 2008. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said no, however, as he knew that Evans had something special.

The well-spoken professional was arrested in connection with an alleged rape in 2007, but was rightly acquitted in 2008. It can’t have been easy for him, but he has not let it hold him back in his future career. He has played 34 times for United this season, 23 of those in the Premier League, and with United sitting top of the Premier League table, he is safe in the knowledge that he has played a major part.

Nemanja Vidic’s untimely injury and the experience of Rio Ferdinand has helped Evans no end, but his no-nonsense style and exceptional reading of the game is credit to the man himself.

It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Evans was once considered a liability in United’s defence, and I wouldn’t mind admitting that I was one of those last season, but the best way to make your point is on the pitch, and I sense Ferguson has a smile on his face right know, knowing, ‘I was right.’

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