Verdict: Gareth Evans’ two-year Portsmouth deal underlines how much he’s respected
Gareth Evans’ new two-year deal underlines how much he’s respected at Pompey.
That is the verdict of Neil Allen, who feels the fans’ favourite has been one of the Blues’ greatest servants since the Premier League days.
Evans extended his contract on Friday to keep him at Fratton Park until the summer of 2021.
Signed by Paul Cook in 2015 following a successful trial period, the former Manchester United trainee has scored 31 times in 177 games for Pompey.
Evans was key when the Blues clinched the League Two title in 2016-17, while he’s been equally as important during this term’s Championship charge.
During his time at PO4, he’s operated in a number of roles – including as a winger, a centre midfielder and a right-back.
Despite turning 31 next month, the former Fleetwood and Bradford man has been rewarded with a two-year contract.
Speaking on the latest edition of Pompey Talk, Allen believes the length of Evans’ deal was because of how highly regarded he is by boss Kenny Jackett.
And The News’ chief sports writer reckons the vice-captain ranks among the best to have donned the star & crescent since the Blues were relegated from the top flight in 2010.
Allen said: ‘Two-and-a-half months it (negotiations) has gone on for and he was getting a bit impatient.
‘It’s tremendous what he’s done for Pompey after coming as a free agent.
‘His versatility, his attitude around the place and affection for the club – shown in his song choice that time – and he’s settled in the area with his wife.
‘To get a two-year deal when he’s 31 next month shows the respect Pompey have for him.
‘Kenny Jackett trusts him and that’s a big thing for a manager.
‘When there was an injury on Saturday (to Viv Solomon-Otabor in the 2-0 win over Scunthorpe), he trusted Evans to come on and do the business.
‘He’s a very popular player at the football club, among the fans, a great guy and it’s tremendous he’s going to stay here.
‘In recent times, since the fall out from the Premier League, he’s been right up there.
‘It’s just his versatility. He gives everything and has quality in front of goal.
‘Jackett knows he can trust him to perform in a variety of positions.’
Watch the rest of Pompey Talk on the video at the top of the article.