Andrew Smithson says…
I was really pleased to hear that Evans is going to be here next season.
He’s been a good performer for us and he appears to be a positive influence on those around him.
I think his absence has had more of an impact than some people realise, and there’s an argument to say that if he’d been involved, we might have gotten more out of Bristol City and Rotherham.
That’s not meant as a criticism of the other lads, but it just seems to me that Evans has different qualities that take time to acquire.
Being able to hold onto the ball and ride out difficult periods in games are skills that come with experience. Evans is able to offer a bit more shape when games become open, and his application always seems to be spot on.
With that in mind, keeping him at the club for longer is a sensible approach.
I also like the fact that there’s the option of a further extension. It’s a shrewd way of doing things as it’ll hopefully give players a reason to keep pushing.
I’m not saying that Evans falls into this category at all, but it has felt in the past as if certain players have seen us as a final payday and simply went through the motions. This method could protect the club against that and help to keep people motivated.
We know what we’ll get from Evans- he’s a clever player and a low-risk signing.
Getting it done now, whilst he’s still injured, hopefully suggests that we’re treating players correctly and that we’re planning smartly.
It also allows attention to move to other areas of the squad, and leaves us with a very good choice for the middle of the pitch.
Good luck, Corry, I’m sure you’ll do us proud!
Malc Dugdale says…
This is an interesting development given the club’s focus on youth and resale value, and it reminds me of the extension signed by Bailey Wright just before Dan Ballard signed.
If the club continues its strategy and recruits well, it’s likely that we won’t need a great deal from Evans in the next two seasons, but his experience and leadership will help.
Perhaps we want greater depth for the type of role he plays, and a bit of an insurance policy alongside the experience he can bring.
He is over thirty and although he’s a fit and solid player, if we went up in the near future, I doubt that he’d have the legs to manage in the Premier League.
The impact of not having enough cover for key positions could be behind this.
If we need between twenty or thirty starts from Evans for the games where he works best, he’ll give us that in the 2023/2024 season. However, I’d hope that we recruit well in the summer and can add depth in the shape of younger options.
Evans has been a great contributor to our recent success but the one year extension says it all.
Much like Wright, he may eventually be surplus to requirements but if we need to fall back on him, he’s a solid option for another twelve to eighteen months, and certainly at Championship level.
Phil West says…
I think it’s brilliant news, and it’s an admirable show of faith and loyalty to a player who won’t play for us again until pre-season at the earliest.
It must be a great source of reassurance for Evans as he embarks on his rehab, safe in the knowledge that he doesn’t need to worry about what the future holds.
Over the past year, he’s been a standard-setter, a leader, a warrior and a bastion of composure in midfield.
Whilst the likes of Dan Neil and Edouard Michut have certainly stepped up in his absence, softening the blow and offering an exciting glimpse into the future, we’ve certainly missed Evans’ experience and know-how at times.
What this tells me is that the club are keeping a keen eye on both the medium and longer-term, and planning ahead.
With additions of Abdoullah Ba and Pierre Ekwah, as well as Jay Matete hopefully returning in the summer, we’ve got some exciting options in midfield and it’s obvious that the club are looking further down the line for who could be the long-term replacement for Evans.
On the other hand, I have no doubt that he has a major role to play next season, especially if we’re still in the Championship, and if he can make 30+ appearances and contribute to a successful season, this new deal will be worth every penny.
I’m delighted that he’s staying and I’m excited to see him make his return to the team after a successful recovery period.