TONY Pulis has confirmed that Jonny Evans will be Albion’s new club captain – and dismissed any notion that the coveted defender could leave The Hawthorns this summer.
Evans will fill the vacancy left by his pal and fellow former Manchester United player Darren Fletcher, who left the Club at the end of last season.
And after naming Evans as skipper of the Baggies tour party which flew out to Hong Kong last weekend to compete in the Premier League Asia Trophy, Albion’s Head Coach has cemented the Northern Ireland defender’s place in his plans.
Pulis’s comments will be great news for Baggies fans who have read reports of interest in Evans from rival Premier League clubs.
“Who hasn’t been linked?” Pulis said today as he began a tour of media duties in readiness for Albion’s opening game in the tournament, against Leicester City tomorrow.
“It’s a feeding season for the press at the moment and some of the stuff that is written and said is laughable at times.
“But Jonny Evans is staying with West Bromwich Albion. There is no doubt about that.
“Jonny will be our captain next season. He had a fantastic year last season and I’m hoping he steps up now.
“He’s not had the responsibility before, to being a captain around the club.
“It’s an important job and it’s about looking after the players and looking after the dressing room and if we get issues in the dressing room I will be expecting him to sort it out.”
Pulis also urged Albion fans to stay calm amid the annual frenzy of the summer transfer window.
Albion’s second recruit for the forthcoming Premier League campaign, Ahmed Hegazi, flew in last night to join his new team mates and was up with the lark to take part in sodden training amid Hong Kong’s monsoon rains today.
“The aim over the next month is getting the players in to strengthen,” he said.
“We had a smashing season last year but fell away at the end when the depth of the squad could have been stronger.
“Everybody knew that but you don’t want to talk about it to give the players that were in there confidence to push on.
“We need players but I accept that it’s difficult to get the players you want of the quality we need.
“We’re sitting at the high table but we live off the scraps – and not just us but 12 or 13 other clubs too.”