In his second autobiography, The Second Half, Keane explained exactly why he sought after Evans.
"Jonny was a centre-half. He had the qualities of a Manchester United player, and he was bringing them to Sunderland," penned Keane. "For such a young man – he was nineteen – he was very mature, and a born leader.
"Jonny was unbelievable for us. He lived with his mam and dad in Sale, near my home, so I picked him up there and brought him up to see the set-up at Sunderland.
"I knew I was on a winner; I knew him, and I knew what he was about. I remembered an incident when I was still at United; there'd been a fight in the canteen and Jonny had looked after himself well – I think he knocked the other lad out. I knew Jonny was tough."