Adaptability is an asset in a modern footballer. It shows that not only can they pick up the tactical skills necessary to be an asset in a number of positions – it also shows that the fundamental talent that is needed to make it at the very top is very much in abundance.
Lisa Evans fits perfectly in this category. The Scottish star began her professional career for Glasgow City back in 2009. She bagged more than a goal a game for the Scottish side and played as a striker. Her performances drew the attention of German giants Turbine Potsdam, who signed Evans in 2012.
For three years, Evans applied herself to the club and the culture, making every effort to force her way into the side and when she had done that, then began to excel once again. In three years, Evans had gone from hot prospect to genuine star in Germany. It led to a move to another Frauen-Bundesliga side – giants Bayern Munich.
Evans won the title in her time with Bayern, and had established herself as a force out wide, cutting in to unleash a shot or supplying forwards with deadly deliveries from the flank.
Five years playing in Germany had given Evans the tools to build on the raw talent she possessed and in 2017, Lisa signed for WSL side Arsenal Women.
Since then, Evans has gone on to add another side to her already impressive game. Gunners boss Joe Montemurro is a big advocate of a fluid playing style, seeing players fill in for others who rove forward, switching play and positions where necessary. It requires not only a certain level of stamina – but a footballing brain that can process the needs of a game while a match is in full swing.
Montemurro recognized all of this and more in Evans – and the Scotswoman has been employed in various spots in the side since joining. It is at wing-back though, that Evans seems to have found her true calling.
Football goes through phases and currently, using wing-backs seems to be the way forward. It stretches teams who are already concerned with marking wide forwards and conventional number 9’s. It does require the player to have a wide skillset however.
Perhaps this is why Evans has been a success there.
Since joining, Evans has been one of the regular suppliers of our attack. So many times, her pace has allowed her a yard of space to whip over a cross destined for goal machine Vivianne Miedema, or a late run from Kim Little, Jordan Nobbs, Danielle Van De Donk or Jill Roord.
Evans has the ability to not only pick out a player, but also deliver a ball between banks of four, piercing lines and creating opportunity. Vision, passing – Evans could easily be a playmaker.
She was a mainstay in our WSL-winning season, and last season she again never dropped her consistency. More than 80 caps for her country too, a mark of a top player.
This season we expect much from our side – no less another title tilt. We can also expect Lisa Evans to be a regular sight on our wing, providing chances aplenty for our hungry team.