6 Phil Jagielka

eng England
August 17, 1982

The 2016/17 season was Phil Jagielka’s 10th year as an Everton player.

He joined Everton in the summer of 2007 from Sheffield United in a deal worth £4million.

One of the most experienced central defenders in the Premier League, he has played well over 300 games for the Blues.

Jagielka took on the role of Club captain in the summer of 2013, following Phil Neville’s retirement.

Jagielka was at Everton’s academy for a period in his teens before departing Merseyside and progressing through the ranks at the Blades.

In 2006, Phil won the award for the best player in the Championship, playing a central role in the Blades’ promotion to the top flight under Neil Warnock. He joined Everton to fight for a number of positions but it was in central defence that he established himself in the side after a slow start to the campaign.

Jags made his Everton debut appearing as a substitute against Tottenham at White Hart Lane before making his full debut at Bolton.

Joseph Yobo’s involvement in the African Cup of Nations in January 2008 provided an opportunity for Jagielka and he grasped it with both hands. He forged a strong partnership with Joleon Lescott and then Yobo when the Nigerian returned from international action as David Moyes’ men marched to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup and progressed to the knockout stages of the Uefa Cup.

Jagielka’s success meant he remained a fixture in the centre of defence, and such was the quality of his performances that he was called-up by England manager Fabio Capello for a couple of end-of-season friendlies.

He subsequently made his international debut as a second-half substitute in England’s 3-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago.

After more excellent form in the 2008/09 season, he got a first start for the Three Lions against Spain in February 2009.

He then scored the winning penalty in Everton’s spot-kick win over Man Utd in the FA Cup semi-final, exorcising the demons of the previous season’s miss against Fiorentina.

But a serious knee ligament injury struck in April and he missed the FA Cup final and much of the 2009/10 season.

After ten months out, Jagielka returned to action on 25 February 2010 coming on as a substitute in the Europa League defeat to Sporting Lisbon in Portugal.

After featuring as a half-time substitute in the trip to Tottenham Hotspur, he started in every Everton first-team game until the end of the season.

In September 2010 Jagielka started a competitive game for England for the first time, partnering Michael Dawson in a 4-0 thrashing of Bulgaria in England’s opening Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley.

He remained a regular part of the Three Lions squad and by the end of the campaign was back to his very best for the Toffees.

Jagielka made 36 appearances and netted twice for the Blues across the 2011/12 season, with injury sidelining the centre-half for a two-month spell at the turn of the year.

Solid form following his March return earned the former Blade a seat on the plane as England headed to Euro 2012 – although he remained an unused substitute for all four games.

However, he was involved from the start in the next international friendly and scored his first goal for his country on Wednesday 15 August in the 2-1 win over Italy in Switzerland.

Competitive involvement followed in September, as Jagielka started the 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw with Ukraine at Wembley.

After a typically impressive first half of the 2012/13 season, Jagielka agreed a two-year contract extension in January 2013 which, if completed, would take him to 10 years service at Goodison Park.

Jagielka recovered from a nasty foot injury suffered against Reading to finish the season in impressive form and following Phil Neville’s decision to leave he was confirmed by new manager Roberto Martinez as his captain for the 2013/14 season.

He continued to be a rock at the heart of Everton’s defence alongside Sylvain Distin, but a hamstring problem sidelined him from February until May.

But a return to fitness at the end of the season was sufficient for Roy Hodgson to name Jagielka in his 23-man squad for the World Cup in Brazil.

The Everton skipper was a shining light in the 2014/15 campaign and that was underlined when he collected a hat-trick of accolades – Player of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season and Goal of the Season – at the Club’s 10th Annual End of Season Awards evening.

Only a month after his awards treble, Jagielka signed a one-year contract extension, lengthening his stay at Goodison Park until the summer of 2018.

Two injuries – one to the knee, the other a hamstring – limited Jagielka’s involvement in the 2015/16 season, although he did lead the Blues to the semi-finals of both the Capital One Cup and FA Cup.
After starting the 2016/17 season as first-choice at the heart of Everton’s defence, Jagielka spent the majority of the first two months of 2017 on the bench.

But he regained his place in the starting line-up in March and finished the campaign strongly.

He scored three goals in three consecutive games in April – in a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford and home wins over Leicester City and Burnley.