Leicester City are preparing for life back in the Sky Bet Championship following a 2022/23 campaign that saw them lose their Premier League status.
Enzo Maresca has been appointed as the club’s new manager, and full focus is on rebuilding a squad that’s already lost Youri Tielemans on a free to Aston Villa and James Maddison to Tottenham in a multi-million pound move.
Others are expected to follow before the end of the transfer window in early September, with that list of players potentially including Jonny Evans.
Leicester’s retained list at the start of June confirmed that the club were “in discussions with captain Jonny Evans with regard to his future beyond the expiration of his current deal”, which was due to expire at the end of June.
Maresca was pushed on Evans’ situation at the start of July, revealing that talks were continuing.
He was quoted by Leicester Mercury as saying: “We have been in contact with him. We’ll see in the next weeks.”
It appears that Evans could be about to land a move back to the Premier League, with footage emerging on Everton’s Facebook page from Finch Farm, where a member of Sean Dyche’s staff stating: “We’ve got Jonny Evans coming in.”
That footage has been clipped and shared on Twitter, with @ITalkEverton trimming the video down, so you can hear exactly when Evans is discussed.
On the back of signing Ashley Young following his release from Aston Villa this week, Evans, at 35-years-old, would represent another experienced addition to Dyche’s squad.
Everton have a fairly decent pool of centre-backs: James Tarkowski, Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey. However, Yerry Mina’s exit and not renewing Conor Coady’s service after a loan does mean Dyche’s squad needs another body.
Evans has over 350 Premier League appearances under his belt, having played for Man United, Leicester City and West Brom, as well as playing regularly on the international scene with Northern Ireland.
At 35, he’s more of a short-term fix for Everton rather than helping Dyche build for the future, yet Young’s arrival tells you he is more than happy to take those older pros on board to provide some stability at Goodison Park.
One other concern will be Evans’ injury issues recently. He played 18 times in 2021/22 for Leicester and only 13 times last season. Everton, then, will be gambling on the centre-back putting those troubles behind him in 2023/24.
However, on the flip side of that, you could argue that had Evans been fit enough to play 25+ games for Leicester last season, they might not be in the mess they are currently in, preparing for the Championship.