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Playmaker's EFL 72: #25 Will Evans

2024/04/30 17:12
E2

After starting off on a mazy dribble through the best performers in the EFL, our Playmaker 72 has wound its way down to its 'Top 25'. 

It's certainly been no easy task, but - just to clarify - our '72' is less a roll call of the best footballers in the EFL and more a tribute to those players who have enjoyed the most memorable seasons while racking up the most impressive stats.

Whatever the criteria, we're confident in our selections of the most outstanding players through the Championship, League One, and League Two and welcome any debate on the subject!

Our next entrant is Newport County dynamo Will Evans. What a season it has been for the former League of Wales forward...


Number #25: Will Evans (Newport County)

When Playmaker chatted with Will Evans back in October, the Newport County striker was still coming to terms with his meteoric rise to prominence in the professional game - but a storming season for the high-energy Exile suggests there is even more to come. 

With 25 goals to his name across all competitions in 2023/24, the versatile Evans has irrefutably proven his mettle as a goalscorer this term having been deployed as a left wing-back for much of the last campaign - the former Wales C international no doubt taking added confidence from Bruno Fernandes praising his finishing in Newport's thrilling 4-2 FA Cup defeat against Manchester United. 

Last season, Newport notably scored more League Two goals (24) than any side from set-pieces, but only Gillingham (17) hit fewer goals than the Exiles (21) from open-play - and Evans' mobility and endeavour in forward areas has helped addressed the shortfall in 2023/24. 

In fact, over three-quarters (16 goals; 76%) of Evans' 21 league goals this season have come from 'live' play with five goals from dead-balls (including two penalties). 

A closer look at Evans' goal-scoring numbers underlines that he is an all-round threat: the 26-year-old netting from inside the six-yard box (6) and outside the area (2); with his right foot (5) and his head (3), as well as his favoured left peg (13). 

In Playmaker's exclusive with the former dairy farmer and university student, Evans admitted that Newport's coaching staff have tried to curb his work ethic and preserve his energies for scoring goals - but 458 contested headers and 58 tackles won suggest the former Bala Town forward has lost none of his ferocious appetite for the uglier side of the game. 

What is perhaps slightly surprising is how clinical Evans has been in relation to his expected goals stats. According to the metric, the forward 'should' have scored 15.4 League Two goals this term - meaning he has outperformed his expected goals by a considerable 5.6xG. Only Dan Crowley (+8.02xG) and Paul Mullin (+5.76xG) have surpassed their xG by a greater margin this season in the fourth tier. 

Linked with Championship Swansea in the January transfer window, Evans is likely to attract further interest from higher up the EFL ladder this summer - and, to circle back to the start of this profile, this season appears part of the all-action forward's journey rather than his destination. 

Only the third Newport player (after John Aldridge and Dom Telford) ever to hit 20+ EFL goals for the Exiles, Evans has certainly come a long way in a short time. 


Playmaker's EFL 72...the countdown

26: Jamie Reid 27: Morgan Whittaker

28: Conor Chaplin 29: George Thomason 30: Mickey Demetriou

31: Stephy Mavididi 32: Marc Leonard 33: Josh Sheehan

34: Matt Smith 35: Kwame Poku 36: Illan Meslier 37: Aden Flint

38: Ronnie Edwards 39: Josh Sargent 40: Alex Gilbey 41: Ben Sheaf

42: Jobe Bellingham 43: Devante Cole 44: Jacob Greaves 45: Paddy Lane

46: Herbie Kane 47: Dan James 48: Archie Collins 49: Karamoko Dembele

50: Haji Wright 51: Dan Crowley 52: Cameron Brannagan 53: Aaron Collins

54: Andy Cook 55: Connor Shaughnessy 56: Jannik Vestergaard

57: Willy Gnonto 58: Ellis Simms 59: Charlie Hughes 60: Fatawu Isshaku

61: Sam Hoskins 62: Paul Mullin 63: Chris Martin 64: Omari Hutchinson

65: Isaac Hutchinson 66: Sam Tickle 67: Ben Hinchcliffe 68: Michał Helik

69: Lewis Wing 70: Rob Apter 71: Kyle Walker-Peters 72: Alex Palmer



Wales
Will Evans
NameWill Evans
Born/Age1997-07-01(26 -yrs-old)
Nationality
Wales
Wales
PositionForward

Photos(4)

Comments

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motivo:
2024-04-30 17h20m by l_10_brownfield
Wow, what a fantastic list! Can't wait to see who made it to the top 25. Congrats to all the talented players who made the cut!
2024-04-30 16h50m by mfosterfield
As a football fan, I have to say I'm loving this list so far! The anticipation for the top 25 is killing me, but I have to give credit to Will Evans for making it in. He's been a dynamo for Newport County. Who else made the cut
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