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Evans not world class but the right addition for Arsenal - Keown

The West Brom defender is a man in demand with Manchester City also said to be keen, but the Gunners have been urged to get a January deal done.

JONNY EVANS IS not world class but is a quality central defender who would be an ideal January addition for Arsenal, says Martin Keown.

The West Brom defender has become a much sought-after talent after taking the decision to leave Manchester United in search of a more prominent role.

Evans won three Premier League titles and the Club World Cup while at Old Trafford, but was rarely a regular in the Red Devils side and headed for The Hawthorns in 2015.

He has since graced a European Championship with Northern Ireland and attracted admiring glances from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City with his performances at club level.

Keown believes that the 30-year-old should be a top target for Arsene Wenger during the current window, telling the Daily Mail: “He is a quality central defender.

“I don’t think he is world class but there seems to be a shortage of quality experienced central defenders nowadays.

“James Tarkowski came to Burnley and has signed a new deal. Arsenal signed Rob Holding for £2 million and he’s doing a job. But it seems that some of these clubs want that finished article.

“I personally think Evans has played his best football for Northern Ireland.

“He is 30 but there is more to come with the right kind of manager. If he went to Arsenal, Wenger would work with him. He can play and pass, but this could be about him fully believing in himself.”

Wenger has hinted at holding an interest in Evans, but he has also conceded that Arsenal will be unable to compete financially with City if a bidding war is sparked.

He told reporters when quizzed on the experienced defender: “[We would need] to see off any interest of any other clubs, yes, and I don’t know if Man City is in for anybody.

“I don’t know what is their policy. If the decision comes to finances with Man City we know we will be second best. That is well known.”

Evans’ current boss, Alan Pardew, has conceded that he may be forced to sanction a sale in January in order to bring in funds and clear the path for an ambitious performer to step back up the ladder.

He said in December: “I have to get goals on the board otherwise you can’t win games. So there is a scenario Jonny Evans might move and for sure I have looked at that.

“He has all the qualities for a top team. I would be stupid to sit here and deny that.

“There have been astonishing figures for defenders all through the summer really.

“If you look at defenders and compare Jonny with central defenders in the Premier League he is right up there.”

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