27/07/2009 15:30, Report by Nick Coppack in Munich
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Good Evans, says Rio

Rio Ferdinand has labelled young Reds centre-half Jonny Evans "fantastic" and claims the Northern Irishman made the right decision to stay at United, despite no guarantees of regular football.

Evans was a prime target for Sunderland last summer after impressing in the Championship during a loan spell at the Stadium of Light. But he opted to remain at Old Trafford, where Ferdinand says he's blossomed into a top-class defender.

"He's a fantastic young player," Rio Ferdinand told the Press Association. "For centre-halves it's always difficult to see the best of them at early ages. There's always a chance of them making mistakes but Jonny keeps that to a minimum.

"He's got a cool head on his shoulders. He's sat back and watched for a few years when he was younger. He went to Sunderland, did very well and they wanted to buy him, for obvious reasons.

"But he stuck to his guns, stayed here and last season he had opportunities to play. When he did so, he was fantastic."

And it wasn't just the odd Carling Cup game, either. Evans made 24 appearances in 2008/09, providing valuable cover for the established central-defensive pairing of Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

But Evans, a full

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Praise to Evans

"He's got a cool head on his shoulders. Sunderland wanted to buy him but he stuck to his guns, stayed here and when he got his opportunities last season he was fantastic."

- Rio Ferdinand


Premier League