Sunderland are closing in on the signing of Corry Evans, a report from The Athletic has revealed.
Evans is currently a free agent, having left Blackburn Rovers following the expiry of his contract at Ewood Park at the end of last season.
However, the midfielder could soon be back in the game, with this latest update claiming that Evans is undergoing a medical with the Black Cats, and is set to sign a two-year deal at The Stadium of Light.
Lee Johnson’s side will once again be targeting promotion from League One back to the Championship next season, and that is something Evans does have experience of doing.
The 30-year-old was part of the Blackburn side that won promotion from the third-tier at the first time of asking during the 2017/18 season.
So if Evans is able to replicate his form from that campaign, could it help Sunderland win promotion next season?
Here, we put the spotlight on the Northern Ireland internationals performances from Blackburn’s League One promotion winning season, in order to help find out.
Throughout the course of that particular season, Evans featured in 32 of Blackburn’s 46 league games, so he did have a fairly significant impact on the success they enjoyed last year.
During his career, Evans has largely been deployed as a defensive, holding midfielder, and that is a role he certainly carried out to useful effect during that campaign.
With an average of 5.48 interceptions and 1.38 clearances per game, Evans certainly played a big part when it came to keeping opposition attacks at bay that season.
Indeed, that figure in terms of interceptions in particular, highlights the ability he has to read the game at that level, given the amount of times he was able to step in and win possession back for his side from a loose ball.
Furthermore, with a defensive duel success rate of 59.1%, Evans was also something of a useful shield when it came to protecting his defence, reducing the threat posed to the back four behind him, by preventing as many attacks from breaking through as might otherwise have been the case.
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Yet despite his role in the centre of the park largely carrying a defensive focus, a pass success rate of 68% with balls into the final third also shows that he can on occasion, be a useful supply source for his side’s attackers.
Admittedly, one cause for concern may be Evans’ average of 1.8 fouls per game, given it could lead to some exposure from set pieces, although that too highlights the midfielder’s commitment to putting his foot in for the cause.
It seems therefore, that having seen defensive midfielders such as Josh Scowen and Max Power leave the club this summer, Sunderland could now be about to fill that void that has been left, with a more than reliable, and indeed effective, option at this level.