Joey Barton issues verdict as Bristol Rovers agree new contract for one of their ‘best players’

Bristol Rovers are already preparing for life in League One, and they are off to a good start thanks to a new contract.

<p>Evans is here to stay</p>

Evans is here to stay

Bristol Rovers have managed to wrap up a key piece of business as they prepare for life back in League One.

Joey Barton has a busy summer ahead as he looks to prepare his squad for their return to the third tier, but he has started on the right foot.

He and Rovers have managed to tie down Antony Evans to a new long-term contract, agreeing a deal up tuntil 2025.

Antony was key in Rovers’ promotion this season, racking up 11 goals and 14 assists across 39 appearances in league and cup.

He arrived on a free transfer from Paderborn last summer and proved to be an inspired signing.

There was a risk Rovers could lose him this summer amid contract uncertainty, but a new deal has now been agreed, and he is at the Memorial Ground to stay.

It’s huge news for Rovers, given the quality Evans offers and the need for Barton to ensure his side take a step up this season.

Speaking about the deal, Barton has said: “We are delighted to secure Antony’s services until at least 2025.

“If we want to progress as a club we have to keep our best players and Antony proved throughout last season how good a player he is.

“I look forward to watching him continue to improve and help the team in the coming season.”

The step up betwen League Two and League One is not an easy one to take, but it’s clear Evans is one of the players capable of taking it in his stride.

After the club confirmed the news of the new deal, Evans took to Instagram to write: “Made up to get it done! Time to get to work. UTFG.”

Evans lead his Rovers teammates for assists in the season just gone and was the second highest scorer.

WhoScored place him second in the ratings for the season, achieving an average rating of 7.31, only behind Elliott Anderson on 7.64.