Walsall boss Mat Sadler has praised starting goalkeeper Owen Evans with a tag of “He is one of the best in the division, and the one above” after speaking ahead of this weekend’s game.
Evans picked up his first clean sheet of the season this past weekend following a 1-0 win over Colchester United, however, despite it coming six games into the campaign, the Saddlers’ boss sees the quality Evans brings onto the pitch.
Who Is Owen Evans?
Starting his career at Wigan Athletic, the 26-year-old spent multiple loans in Wales and the National League before making his EFL league debut in the 2019/20 campaign. Beginning the year with Macclesfield Town on loan in League Two, the goalkeeper made 27 appearances before joining promotion pushing Cheltenham Town in the January transfer window on another loan.
Spending the next season with the Latics, Evans moved back to Cheltenham on a permanent move following their League Two title victory. However, only one year into his move, the Welshmen moved to Walsall where he has spent the last year and a bit.
One of the main reasons why Sadler values Evans so much is because of his all-round game as a goalkeeper. Particularly praising his distribution ability with the ball at his feet, Evans is also a fine shot-stopper with an average of 2.7 saves per game.
After a few disappointing seasons in League Two, Walsall has started the new campaign with two, wins, two draws and two defeats. Still sitting in the bottom half of the table in 14th, the team will be looking to build upon last week’s win and their first clean sheet of the season.
What’s Been Said:
Speaking ahead of their away game to Salford City this week with quotes from the Express and Star, Sadler spoke about the quality Evans possesses and the collectiveness of his defence.
He said: “It didn’t feel like an afternoon that his goal was peppered but then he goes and makes two brilliant saves.
“That’s what he does. In my opinion, he is one of the best in this division, and the one above. His distribution is spot on.
“In terms of clean sheets, that has to be the collective. We have to be willing and desperate to do horrible, dogged things to keep a clean sheet, and we did that well.”
To make a remark that your goalkeeper is the best in two divisions is eye-catching, but there’s no denying the talent Evans has as a number one. While some clubs especially in League One may disagree with Sadler’s statement, Evans was coming off the back of a performance that won his team the game and now he has a long season to prove Sadler’s point right.