UPDATE: Evans’ planned move to Bolton Wanderers which United would have had to sanction, collapsed at the close of the January transfer window due to administrative problems He remains on loan at Fleetwood Town until the end of the season
CHED EVANS’ looks to have no future left at Bramall Lane following the loan signing of Gary Madine and another expected strike addition before the end of the month.
The former Wales international has played a useful role for League One Fleetwood Town ever since his loan last August, scoring 10 goals in 24 appearances. But it seems that the move designed to provide him with match time and prove his fitness after a disappointing £500,000 return to Sheffield United last season, won’t be of any significance as far as manager Chris Wilder is concerned.
Despite a much publicised search to bolster his forward line, not once has Wilder mentioned the 30-year-old who famously scored 36 goals for United under Danny Wilson in 2011-12. Evans is currently serving a two-match ban for abusing referee Bret Huxtable after being sent off during Fleetwood’s defeat at Bristol Rovers last month. A red card that has since been revoked.
“Hopefully Ched has a decent six months and then we can assess it in January and go from there,” said Wilder last summer in what was an admittance that his first addition to the squad immediately after winning promotion back to the Championship hadn’t worked out. There were those who believed that the manager’s hand had been forced by co-owners Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah, something which Wilder denied emphatically.
The conspiracy theory being that there was a loyalty arrangement after the club ditched Evans following his conviction and jail for rape which brought an abrupt end to his golden season. A conviction that has since been overturned and in a retrial, whilst resuming his career under Wilson at Chesterfield, the player was found not guilty.
Evans’ season at the Proact Stadium was hampered by injury and fitness issues, something which didn’t deter Wilder who nevertheless had to grant him the best part of three months off to have surgery on an ankle.
Now there seems little prospect of forgotten man Evans, who still has a year-and-a-half remaining on hos contract, returning to establish himself as a first choice striker. More likely that he will be sold to Joey Barton’s Fleetwood or seek pastures new, using his experience with the Cod Army to maybe attract a team at the lower end of the Championship, who like United may be prepared to take a gamble.
Evans’ season in the sun will never be forgotten at Bramall Lane and the striker, despite all the controversy and then ultimate let-down in his second spell with the Blades, will always be regarded with affection.
It seems inevitable, however, the love affair between player and club is over.