New West Brom captain Jonny Evans going nowhere, insists Tony Pulis
Tony Pulis has confirmed that Jonny Evans will be West Brom captain next season and insisted that his star defender is going nowhere.
Pulis needed a new captain following the exit of Darren Fletcher to Stoke City this summer, and has challenged 29-year-old Evans to step up to the plate.
Leicester tested the waters earlier this summer with a £10million bid for the Northern Irishman but were told in no uncertain terms by Albion that Evans was not for sale.
And Pulis has reiterated that stance on the eve of Albion’s meeting with the Foxes in the Premier League Asia Trophy at the Hong Kong Stadium tomorrow.
“Jonny Evans is staying at West Bromwich Albion football club,” said Pulis. “There is no doubt about that.
“Jonny will be our captain next season. I’ve spoken to Jonny earlier in pre-season, he had a fantastic year last year and we’re hoping he steps up. He’s never been given this responsibility before.”
Pulis, who praised the way Fletcher conducted himself off the pitch, hopes Evans will be able to follow in the footsteps of his former Manchester United team-mate.
Albion’s head coach said: “As I’ve said to him, I don’t want him to just be captain on the pitch, I want him to be the captain around the ground as well, look after the players and the dressing room for me.
“If we get one or two issues bubbling in the dressing room I expect Jonny to either sort it out himself, with the group, or he’ll come and see me and we’ll sort it out together.
“Your relationship with your captain is so important.”
Evans has been a huge hit at The Hawthorns since his arrival from United two years ago, and has drawn plenty of admirers during his stint with the Baggies.
Last summer, Arsenal were reportedly interested in the defender, although the centre-back himself was never contacted by anyone from the Gunners or informed of any interest.
This summer, Leicester’s advances have been rebuffed, but Pulis played down the speculation.
“Who hasn’t been linked?” he said. “Good players are always linked with other clubs. It’s a feeding season for the press at the moment.”
Albion’s game with Leicester kicks off at 11am UK time on Wednesday and will be shown live on Sky Sports.