Northern Ireland and Manchester United have a “world class defender in the making” in Jonny Evans.
That’s the view of former United defender David May who helped Sir Alex Ferguson toast an historic treble in 1999.
Evans is struggling to be fit for next Wednesday’s crucial World Cup qualifier against San Marino, but he is already being widely hailed as a future Northern Ireland captain.
The Belfast starlet is already a history maker at Old Trafford after helping his goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar go past the all-time league best of 18 hours, 23 minutes set by former Reading keeper Steve Death for not conceding a goal.
The centre-back has displayed maturity beyond his years in the heart of the United defence and May says the 21-year-old is a potential world star.
“He’s going to be a belting player,” said the former United defender. “I know he has a long way to go but Jonny is on his way to being a world class defender.
“He’s shown a level of maturity that outweighs his age and I thought he was outstanding against Chelsea at Old Trafford. He’s a great credit to himself but credit must also go to the manager in placing his trust in him.
“His range of passing is generally excellent and I actually think he’s similar to Paul McGrath – he reads the game very well and he’s quick. He’s also got characteristics of Rio (Ferdinand) and (Nemanja) Vidic. He’s laidback on the ball, doesn’t panic and is not afraid of getting hurt.
“He seems like a really good lad as well. It was brilliant when Vidic scored the first goal against Chelsea, you could see the enthusiasm and what it means for Jonny to play for United.
“He was all over Vidic’s back and showing his fist to the crowd. He was absolutely loving it and it was great to see that.”