Gary Pallister says Rio Ferdinand may not be able to dislodge Jonny Evans from the Man United team.
Young star looks the part, says former United ace
Gary Pallister says Rio Ferdinand might not be able to dislodge the in-form Jonny Evans from the Manchester United team when he returns from injury.
England defender Ferdinand has missed United's last five Premier League games through injury but his absence has hardly been felt thanks to the fine form of Northern Ireland defender Evans.
Saturday's 1-0 win at Bolton was United's 10th Premier League clean sheet in a row - a new record - and Evans has played alongside Nemanja Vidic in six of those matches.
Former United defender Pallister has been so impressed with the youngster that he feels Ferguson may consider keeping him in the team when Ferdinand returns to fitness.
"He's a very accomplished player," Pallister told Sky Sports News
"He's still got a decent amount to learn, he's very young - he's only 21 - so he's still learning but he's producing performances that belie his years at the moment.
"He's looking so comfortable alongside Vidic that Rio might find it hard to get back in the team when he gets fit.
"Once you've got the shirt, it's hard to displace people who are playing well."
Evans was linked with a move to Sunderland at the start of the season following a successful loan spell at the Stadium of Light.
Ferguson decided he did not want to sell the promising player and Pallister says that shows United have great faith in Evans.
He continued: "He's been out on loan, he's served his apprenticeship at places like Sunderland and you can probably get a bit frustrated as a young player when you're not getting a chance in the team.
"I think at the start of the season Sunderland made a bid for him, but the manager decided he was an important part of the future for the club and he would get his chance.
"Rio's been out for a while with a back injury that I think has plagued him over the last two or three seasons and he's stepped right into the breach and has been superb.
"He's a quality player, a different type of player to Nemanja and is probably more like Rio, but nothing has fazed him."