Johnny one-club: Evans dreams of emulating Ferdinand and Vidic’s ability to finish career at Manchester United

By Alex Bysouth

Belfast-born Manchester United defender Johnny Evans admits he only ever dreamt of playing at Old Trafford and has talked up being a one-club man.

The 25-year-old’s performances this campaign have helped United rise to the top of the Premier League in what is arguably his most consistent season to date.

And Evans – a graduate of the Red Devils illustrious youth academy – confessed his love affair with the club he followed as a boy.

“I just knew that Manchester United was the place I wanted to play football,” he told the club website. “To play here throughout my career would be something I would look to do and I’d love to do it.

“Obviously I’ve had my loan spells but I have come through the Academy here and now I’m in the first-team.

“But I can’t look too far ahead – I’m still only 25 so I’ll see where this takes me.”

The Northern Ireland international has always faced tough competition for a starting role, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side boasting world class centre backs, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

“It’s the challenge of trying to reach a standard set by Rio and Vida, two of the best centre-backs in the world,” he added.

“When I first came into the first-team squad, the level that those two were playing at was unbelievable, the presence they have, the way they could defend, it was the very top.

“For younger players coming through the youth team looking at these two fantastic players, it was all about trying to get to that level.”

However, Evans insists he never wished to copy the pair, only to emulate them in his own right.

“I’ve never thought, ‘I want to be like them’,” he explained. “I’ve always wanted to be my own player, I wanted to be the type of player that I am.”

“You can never truly mirror the way another player plays because everyone is different, if I tried to do that then I wouldn’t be the player I am.

“So I wouldn’t say daunting but I recognised that it’s a big challenge to come in and try take them out of the team, it’s all about having patience and being the best I could be.”

Image courtesy of Yahoo UK video, with thanks

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