The young man who, in every likelihood, did more than anyone to spare the Canaries the fate of Leicester City last season has set the record straight over his rumoured movements this summer.
As in, there was never going to be any movement this summer. Ched Evans was always going to stay firmly put from the moment that Mark Hughes walked through the door at Eastlands.
?There was a lot of talk of me going out on loan somewhere,” said the 19-year-old striker, whose ten goals on loan for the Canaries last season made the prospect of his return to Norfolk this season one of the hottest topics of conversation.
As it was on the banks of the Taff where – having thumped home that extraordinary late winner against Cardiff last season – there was equal interest in snapping up the free-scoring 19-year-old on loan. Particularly given his strong Welsh roots; play the 'Young Dragon' card was the thinking as the Bluebirds bundled both Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Robbie Fowler out of the door.
As it transpires, both Norwich and Cardiff were always whistling in the wind. Evans will be elsewhere as the two hopefuls meet without him this weekend.
The fact that Wales legend Hughes was the man charged with stepping into Sven-Goran Eriksson's shoes at Manchester City probably sealed their fate; he knew all too much about Evans' ability and that hammer of a right foot to let him out of his sight this season.
Evidence of that wasn't hard to find. For as Valeri Bojinov collapsed with a torn Achilles in the warm-up against Aston Villa this weekend, to whom did Hughes turn to for a wholly unscheduled start? The young man who saved Norfolk's bacon last season…
?I don't think there was ever a stage where I was actually going out over the summer,” said Evans this week, speaking ahead of his starring role in tonight's do-or-die Wales Under-21 clash with Romania.
?I know there were a few clubs possibly interested in me, but nothing reached the stage where it got back to me or the manager as far as I was aware. And as far I was concerned it was always going to be a case of me staying at Manchester City, certainly as far as this loan period is concerned.?
Even that statement will get one or two hearts skipping a beat – that if Hughes manages to bolster his frontline in the next two weeks and knock Evans back down the pecking order again, perhaps – just perhaps – he might be allowed to come out to play again on loan in the New Year.
In fairness to the teenager, he always felt that his stunning exploits in the Championship under Glenn Roeder's charge would leave him knocking on the door of a place in City's first team thinking. And so it has proved.
His cause might have been helped by the on-going off-the-field shambles and the fact that it may yet hinder Hughes' hand in the transfer market, but few would argue that the City youth product deserves his chance in the big time after proving he can more than hold his own in the Championship.
?I always thought I could be close to the first-team at Man City and I've always believed in myself, especially after coming off a loan period at Norwich knowing I could score goals,” the youngster told the South Wales Echo, on www.walesonline.co.uk.
?There was talk of me going on loan again and I'm at an age, and with Wales in mind, where I need to be playing regular football, especially first-team football. But I'm getting that at the moment at City and having that opportunity is all that matters for me right now.?
It would be interesting to know how much of himself Hughes sees in his young target man; neither are your traditional, strapping six-footers – but both are more than ready for a physical scrap and have an instinctive eye for goal.
What Norwich and Roeder might have done in the first week of the season with 'Evans The Hammer' bolted on to the front of the team is likely to be one of the more painful 'What ifs…' of the summer.
Next up, of course, is Romania. Victory and Wales would top their qualifying group and could yet see Evans taking pot-shots at ex-Canary keeper Joe Lewis in real domestic showdown this autumn – with the winner of the possible double-header then heading to Sweden for the finals next summer.
?It's a pressure game and a big test ? but that's the difference between good and bad players, they are the ones that can step up to the big challenges,” said last season's loan hero.
?If you can come in and perform that gives you more confidence for the next big test, but it also gives the manager more confidence in you because he knows he can rely on you when he needs to.”
One man who, you suspect, is never likely to be that short of confidence in front of goal…