Click the main image to browse photos of Jonny Evans from the 2012/13 season.

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03/05/2013 07:55, Report by Adam Marshall

Key men: Evans

Despite missing the start of the season through injury, Jonny has achieved the extremely difficult task of providing an equal option to the formidable Rio Ferdinand/Nemanja Vidic defensive axis.

The Northern Irishman is no longer viewed as a deputy and a string of outstanding performances have proved he is a vital member of the manager’s plans at the back.

Extremely unlucky to be left out of the side for the second leg of the Champions League tie with Real Madrid, after impressing at the Bernabeu, he has emerged as a leader in terms of his overall play and character.

Combining his unflappable nature with genuine aggression and determination, Evans is maturing into the perfect centre-back and looks certain to become a cornerstone of the team after signing a new long-term contract in December.

Champagne moment: The history books will not show how uncomfortable the home win over relegation-haunted QPR was back in November. Jonny scored the equaliser but there was so much more to his display, urging his team-mates on throughout and displaying real passion when making the breakthrough.

Season in three words: Accomplished and assured.

More: Visit the Champions 2013 section