Having resigned for Sheffield United back in the summer of 2017 for a second spell at Bramall Lane, striker Ched Evans wasn’t immediately in manager Chris Wilder’s plans and after limited game time in his first season back, last summer he headed out to Fleetwood Town for a season long loan spell.
The 30-year-old has had a good campaign out with the Highbury based League One outfit, and in 35 starting appearances and two substitute showings, he’s scored 16 goals for Joey Barton’s side and the former controversial player has now admitted that if he has his way at the end of the campaign, Evans would be added to his playing staff on a permanent basis.
With Fleetwood in eleventh place and only ten points away from the Play-Off spots in the third tier of the game, Barton told Fleetwood Today that if he had a ‘magic wand’ the loan would turn into a proper contract, but sadly his budget wouldn’t stretch to it.
“It will be on the finances. I don’t have a magic wand. One side in our division (Sunderland) has spent more on agents’ fees than our entire budget. If they decide they want him (Evans) there is nothing we can do about it. They were sniffing around him in January. He’s a great player, becoming a real leader in the dressing room. I’d love to have him but I say the same about Coyley, Soutts, Jason Holt – great characters, who really added to our group. We are hoping they like it enough here that if they are not playing for their parent clubs in higher divisions they will be part of what we are trying to build at this football club.”
With Evans having 12 months left on his contract, whilst that would mean – presuming we are looking to trim the group and he’s a name we’ll let go – a lower fee, we’ll still want to maximise incomings and other sides will have that advantage over Fleetwood, unless Evans is adamant he wants them to be his future destination.