Manchester United defender Jonny Evans described Saturday night’s Premier League win over Burnley as “one of the best nights of my life” following his surprise summer return.
Having risen through the youth ranks and been part of a United squad that won the Champions League and multiple Premier League titles, Evans was sold in 2015 and spent the next eight years making a good top flight career for himself with West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City.
A lack of numbers saw Evans finish the defeat to Arsenal at the start of the month, while the double absence of Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez at Burnley – with Raphael Varane only fit enough for the bench after injury – saw him given the nod to start next to Victor Lindelof.
Evans didn’t just help United secure a vital first clean sheet in over a month after conceding 14 times in the last five games, his pinpoint pass from deep set up the match-winning volley from Bruno Fernandes. Earlier, he had scored himself at a corner, only to see VAR intervene and rule Rasmus Hojlund offside for blocking off Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford.
It was also his milestone 200th appearance for the club after playing in 198 games in his first spell.
“I loved every minute of it,” Evans told TNT Sport. “Before the game you get a feeling, I couldn’t wait, just pure excitement. Coming up here on the bus I was buzzing. That was my 200th game for Manchester United, I never thought I would reach that figure. It was one of the best nights of my life.
“I wasn’t consciously thinking I would sign [during the summer]. When you get to a certain age you start to wind down your career. I got the call and didn’t have another option, so I just took it and tried to do my best in training and take my chance. You then just hope your body sees you through.
“It was never a thought that I would come in and be a starter. I was told that my role would be to provide competition and that is how I have approached it. With a few injuries, I then had the chance to start.”
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