Sunderland have confirmed their second senior summer signing with the arrival of experienced Northern Ireland international Corry Evans on a two-year contract.
13 years after his older brother Jonny last played for the Black Cats, Corry has followed in his footsteps to pull on the famous red and white jersey, having departed Blackburn Rovers at the end of last season.
Evans spent eight years at Ewood Park, playing over 200 league games for the Lancashire side but despite apparent interest from Cardiff City and his former national team manager Michael O’Neill at Stoke City, the 30-year-old has dropped into League One with Sunderland.
The engine room was an area of the pitch that head coach Lee Johnson was looking to address, having released Max Power, Josh Scowen and Grant Leadbitter at the end of the 2020-21 campaign, and he’s found a player with not only international experience but Championship experience as well.
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Evams has only played 31 times in the league in the last two seasons for Rovers but Johnson will be hoping to nurse him back to full fitness for the duration of his Sunderland contract, and Evans has issued his first words after penning the deal.
“I’m delighted to have joined Sunderland,” Evans revealed, per the club’s official website.
“I spoke to the Head Coach and was impressed with the way he discussed his style of play and coming to look at the training ground convinced me that this was a great place to play football.
“From experience, I know that League One isn’t easy to get out of – it’s all about consistency and getting it right, so I’m excited to get going.”
It may not be a signing that jumps off the page for Sunderland fans, however it’s a very shrewd one.
The midfield was an area that Lee Johnson desperately needed to address and now he’s done that by bringing in some experience, he can hopefully focus on some more exciting, younger signings that will require transfer fees.
The likes of Ipswich, Wigan and others in League One are making some eye-catching moves in the window but Sunderland are going under the radar with their free transfer additions of Evans and Alex Pritchard, along with keeping Aiden McGeady and Luke O’Nien.
Now Evans will have to prove he can get through a full season without any setbacks after the last couple of campaigns he’s had to endure, and he will also be hoping that he can nail down a starting spot under Johnson.