Leicester agreed to loan De Laet out to Middlesbrough, but Evans had wanted to bring the Belgian defender to Elland Road.
The 53-year-old boss claims he is a big admirer to De Laet’s quality, and he praised the business that Boro completed in the previous transfer window.
“Middlesbrough brought in the boy De Laet, who I think was top class, from Leicester,” Evans said.
“He was a name on my list as well. You look at how they’ve gone and recruited, and what they have done is added some real cream upon cream.”
Aitor Karanka told Middlesbrough’s official site yesterday, that he was surprised that De Laet was allowed to leave Leicester.
The 27-year-old started the season in Leicester’s first team, but he has dropped out of contention more recently.
De Laet was one of five additions promotion chasing Boro made in January, with Jordan Rhodes the most expensive capture they made last month.
Leeds, meanwhile, could only make three signings in the previous transfer window, with some supporters angry with a supposed lack of ambition that the club showed.