Jonny Evans Might Never Get a Better Chance to Be a Manchester United Star

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Jonny Evans Might Never Get a Better Chance to Be a Manchester United Star
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If Manchester United centre-backs were English royalty, Jonny Evans would have been crowned king this summer.

The reigning monarchs, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, have gone. One abdicated, one more forcibly removed.

Evans is next in line. He's been quietly learning how things work, knowing that one day his time would come. He's not quite Prince Charles, but he's been waiting a while.

It looks like Evans will jet off on United's pre-season tour of the United States next Friday as the senior centre-half. At 26 years old and with 181 games under his belt, it's not before time.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

It's his chance to impress Louis van Gaal, his new manager. To make his case to be included in the Dutchman's first competitive XI against Swansea at Old Trafford on August 16.

Like so many of the squad, Evans didn't enjoy his best year last season. 

Two seasons ago, it seemed that Sir Alex Ferguson was in the process of breaking up the Ferdinand-Vidic partnership to find a more permanent place for the Northern Ireland international.

In the Champions League second round first leg against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, Ferguson paired Evans with Ferdinand to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

He could have picked Vidic, who played 90 minutes in a 2-0 win over Everton three days earlier. He chose Evans instead.

Evans had to start again with David Moyes at the beginning of last season. But the new manager put his faith in Ferdinand and Vidic, who were paired together for the first six games of the season.

Evans had to wait until the end of September to start his first game in the Premier League. A calf injury suffered in early February ruined the rest of his season.

With Ferdinand and Vidic moved on, it's unlikely Evans will ever get a better chance to establish himself as a first-team regular. 

He'll face competition. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling harbour the same ambitions. 

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

And Van Gaal's recruitment drive, that has already seen Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera arrive, hasn't finished. It could yet include Thomas Vermaelen or Stefan De Vrij

But with each passing day that United don't sign a new centre-half, Evans' chances of being first choice next season get better and better.

Finally at the head of the queue he's got the opportunity over the coming weeks to make an impression on Van Gaal and cement a place at the heart of United's defence.

He might never be better placed to do so.

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