Manchester United’s surprise transfer could be Erik ten Hag’s dressing room wild card

Such is United&aposs current bad luck, with Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw already sidelined, the departures of Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof saw Erik ten Hag with no choice but to call on the services of a duo who&aposd last played together move than five years ago at Leicester. Not only that, one of them was already a veteran at the King Power Stadium even then.

The introduction of Jonny Evans alongside Harry Maguire was symptomatic of a chaotic time at Old Trafford. the Northern Irishman had been a fine servant for United under Sir Alex Ferguson and later the Foxes.

It came as a shock when Ten Hag signed Evans in pre-season, and perhaps even more of a surprise when he extended that deal for the whole of this season on deadline day.

Ten Hag will have been grateful to have at least had a player of some experience on the bench when disaster struck at the Emirates, but the manager will have had more in mind than him being just an extra body when he asked Evans to sign on the dotted line.

The defender is fondly remembered for his first stint at United where he won three Premier League trophies, the Champions League, and two League cups. And since first leaving the club, being less favoured by Louis van Gaal, a lot has changed.

There have been six changes to the managerial position, with their being permanent, interim, and caretaker positions filled. The constant rotation of managers since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson has seen a struggle to have an identity within the changing room with some more experienced Premier League professionals leaving the dressing room.

This is a key reason why Ten Hag has opted to bring him back. And with over 400 professional appearances in English football, there is no surprise that the addition of a character like Evans would be so beneficial.

The signing should be regarded as a similar level to the likes of Tom Heaton, as Evans should look to be more of a character in the dressing room rather than for Premier League minutes.

Maguire and Evans faced criticism on Sunday, with the partnership being once favourable in 2018 when they played together at Leicester. Roy Keane was among the critics, noting that he left the club around five years ago because he wasnt wanted.

The purpose of the signing wasnt with the expectation of the defender playing every game, being a fifth-choice centre-back. But amongst the growing injury list, Ten Hag was forced to bring on the 35-year-old defender, which proved costly in the end, which could direct more of a focus to the transfer strategy put in place.

Nonetheless, having signed Evans, who was able to find success at the Red Devils previously, will undoubtedly be an important player more so at Carrington rather than Old Trafford.