Evans tipped for greatness
Jonny Evans has been backed to become a future Man Utd captain and even break Ryan Giggs' appearance record.
Last Updated: 05/04/09 2:34pm
Jonny Evans has been backed to become a future Manchester United captain and even break Ryan Giggs' appearance record.
Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia, who knows Evans well from his time at the helm of the Old Trafford reserve team, has tipped the Northern Ireland international to become a Red Devils legend.
On top of witnessing Evans' emergence as a youngster, Sbragia crossed paths with the gifted centre-back when he spent time on loan with the Black Cats under former United midfielder Roy Keane.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has handed Evans 23 appearances this season despite having Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic as his first-choice partnership.
And Sbragia told the Independent on Sunday: "He can be the captain of Manchester United. He'll be at United all his life.
"I'd have though that Alex sees him as potential captain material long term. You could see him making a lot of appearances at United - I could see him making more appearances than Giggsy.
"I can never see him leaving Man U. He'll be (there) until he's 33, 34 years old. He loves the place. He's going to be one of the best players in the league over the next few years."
Sbragia believes United's scouting network should take all the credit for spotting Evans' talents as a youngster.
He added: "The first time I saw him play he was 16. Straightaway he looked a player. The first minute I saw him, you just knew he had something.
"Jonny came in so relaxed, so composed. He had total belief in what he's got, he does not have that fear you sometimes get in young players. I don't think he ever gets nervous.
"At United the foundations are good and they've got money, which helps, but the scouting is good, people who've really got an eye for a player. And Jonny was spotted, the reports came back that he was special."