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Jagielka could make Blades return

| Saturday, 17 June 2017  63 Comments  [Jump to last]
Suggestions have surfaced this weekend that Phil Jagielka has been approached by former club Sheffield United about returning to the club, perhaps in a player-coach capacity.

The defender joined Everton in £4m from the Blades ten years ago, the club who had developed him after he had failed to make the grade at as a youngster at Bellefield, and became a stalwart and skipper for the Blues in the heart of the defence.

Now 35, the chances of him holding down a first-team place at Goodison Park are diminishing but he could get a new lease on life in the Championship.

Reader Comments (63)

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Rob Hignett
1 Posted 17/06/2017 at 22:51:02
If true, and it probably is, he is a great pro and has been a fantastic servant and signing for the club.
Gavin Johnson
2 Posted 17/06/2017 at 22:56:57
While I don't see Jagielka being as motivated by money as say, Wayne Rooney, I don't see how the Blades could afford Jagielka's wages. Are they even in the Championship?
Andrew W James
3 Posted 17/06/2017 at 23:01:16
Sounds reasonable. He's been a loyal blue. Given all he has and chances are he would / should not be on our starting line-ups next season.

If he leaves, it should be with our genuine best wishes to the lad.

Kunal Desai
4 Posted 17/06/2017 at 23:10:35
Replacement lined up then? Assuming we've struck a deal with Burnley for Keane if we're letting Jags go.
Gary Creaney
5 Posted 17/06/2017 at 23:11:20
Regardless of whether he stays or goes, I liked him as a player but always felt something was missing that meant he wasn't fully reliable. He had a great attitude though both football wise and towards our club.

Unfortunately, I don't feel any of our current centre-backs cut it. I was saddened to see Maguire join Leicester particularly for what seems like a relatively small fee £17m. I would like to have seen him and Keane paired together to shore up that part of our defence.

Andrew McLean
6 Posted 17/06/2017 at 23:17:05
Gavin, Sheffield were runaway winners of League 1, with 100 points last season. There is logic and sense to the rumour. Eventually players have to leave and Jags has been one of the better players during his time at Goodison Park.
Colin Glassar
7 Posted 17/06/2017 at 23:21:43
I still think Jags could do a job at a place like Burnley. Part of a deal for Keane?
Steve Ferns
8 Posted 17/06/2017 at 23:36:09
I have to say Jags was very good after breaking back into the team. The deficiencies came from Him and Williams having similar weaknesses.

I'd like to see both stay and then work in tandem with a younger guy (Keane?) and Holgate. I'd sell Funes Mori. We would then have four good centre-halves with Pennington and Browning for cover.

Gavin Johnson
9 Posted 17/06/2017 at 23:38:28
Andrew, yeah, there's defo a logic and it would be a big signing for the Blades to announce that they're back in the Championship. It would be a good way to end his career. At the same time, couldn't he still do a job at a lower placed Premier League club as Colin says.

Coincidentally, I was thinking the other day whether we could maybe offer Jags to Burnley in any deal for Keane. The other player that could be a makeweight is Niasse.

Mike Gaynes
10 Posted 17/06/2017 at 23:45:26
I'd miss him terribly, and I think the club would too. After a miserable first half of the season, he bounced back to regain his best form. I think he still has much to contribute, and I hope he stays one more season.

But if this is what he wants, we can all do nothing but wish him the best and send him off with heartfelt thanks for 10 great years. He has given his all and made us proud.

Anthony Dwyer
11 Posted 18/06/2017 at 00:17:21
I agree, Mike, Jags can still do a job especially while we have some quality youth around who are just a bit short of being Premier League ready.

Holgate, Galloway and Pennington aren't too far off the first team as centre-halves. Pennington is kind of at make or break time, but Holgate and Galloway still have the ability to kick on; both can play as full back and both should be given opportunities until January whilst we're in the Europa League and League Cup plus the Premier League.

Callum Connolly and Jonjoe Kenny look ready for the first team squad too, imo, although they both look more comfortable at full-back.

I honestly believe Jags and Williams could do with being moved on soon and someone should be brought in to play alongside Funes Mori.

Carl Rutherford
12 Posted 18/06/2017 at 00:22:31
Colin / Steve – player swaps are always still mooted by tabloids but can anyone remember any occurring recently?

I think because of the roles of players agents in transfers and contractually obliged loyalty payments and perhaps clubs wanting cash for FFP purposes etc, they just don't happen and all transfers are treated separately.

Off the top of my head the last transfer that Everton were involved in that involved a player exchange I can think of was Unsworth and Williamson with West Ham. Maybe this should be a separate thread but can anyone think of a more recent one?

Agreed that I would prefer to keep Jags in and around the squad for another year. Even with additional recruits at centre-back, I can't think of a pairing in the current squad or among those being linked who I would be confident on being the first choice pairing throughout the season.

Kieran Kinsella
13 Posted 18/06/2017 at 00:29:28
I think there's something to be said for keeping Jags and Barry around even if they're not playing much.

We've got a lot of youngsters who are quickly becoming wealthy celebs. Jags and Barry are the type of down to Earth, hard working role models who can help keep these kids on the straight and narrow.

Peter Gorman
14 Posted 18/06/2017 at 00:33:13
Jags should not be remembered for the aging defender we have today but for the centre-half who was arguably as fine as Ferdinand and Terry in his heyday.

At one point in his career, Jags and Lescott were probably the best pairing in the Premier League. Perhaps the awful knee injury was a factor in his decline, but it has not been too much of a decline, he is still a very good defender.

I think we need a strong signing to justify letting him go; Keane could be that man but I was hoping he'd come in the place of Funes Mori or Williams, two other defenders with much to prove, unlike Jags.

Peter Creer
15 Posted 18/06/2017 at 00:37:32
Jags has been great for our club and if he is in for the move then we should respect that request.

As for the future, I agree we have some younger players who are ready for the move up. For me, Mason Holgate has deputised at right back but is really a centre back. With the old head of Williams and the potential signing of Keane, I would give Holgate a chance to prove himself in his rightful position and then bring in Kenny to give him a proper chance at the right back position until Seamus returns.

For once, we have the wealth of our youth ranks and just plain old wealth from Moshiri.

Koeman's real job is to find the balance.

Don Alexander
16 Posted 18/06/2017 at 01:02:18
Jags never ever leaves anything on the pitch and for that has long since earned my total respect. The fact that he wasn't more talented is irrelevant as a professional footballer. He delivered all he had, always, in our cause.

Moving on, as we now clearly are as a club, we need to now sign defenders who possess that extra talent but without any less commitment in their hearts and minds than the likes of Jags.

I for one think that Michael Keane already has much that I admired in "Waggy" Watson (a criminally under-rated defender outside of Goodison).

Today's rumours suggest I might just be a happy bunny very soon, but if Jags goes he deserves the warmest acclaim from all of us. Just think of the centre-back partners he's had to get used to if nowt else!

Karl Masters
17 Posted 18/06/2017 at 01:29:33
I'd like to see him stay. He's still got plenty to offer.

We will need a big squad next season – especially if we progress in the Europa League, and he'd still get plenty of matches.

Anto Byrne
18 Posted 18/06/2017 at 02:01:57
Run his contract down and retire gracefully.
Vijay Nair
19 Posted 18/06/2017 at 02:11:44
I would honestly get rid of Williams before Jags.
David Pearl
20 Posted 18/06/2017 at 03:31:43
Jags still has a lot to offer and in a pinch I'd have him over any of our current defenders without any doubt. He has suffered in the past few years from slow starts to the season but always found his feet again.

Though his cartwheel celebration might be the highlight of his Everton career...

Ernie Baywood
21 Posted 18/06/2017 at 03:35:57
For a few years there, he was truly exceptional. Age has caught up with him and highlighted a few of the shortcomings that were always there, but it shouldn't take away from his service to the club.

Realistically, it's time for us to move on and let him go with our best wishes... as long as we replace him adequately. Centre-back recruitment needed to be a priority about 4 years ago.

Roger Sunde
22 Posted 18/06/2017 at 03:45:24
Jags has always been 100%, few I've seen after Duncan, hope he stays.
Martin Faulkner
23 Posted 18/06/2017 at 04:54:04
Will never forget that goal he scored against the RedShite.

Will Mabon
24 Posted 18/06/2017 at 06:08:03
Just re-watched that about 20 times, Martin!
Ajay Gopal
25 Posted 18/06/2017 at 06:12:22
I agree with every sentiment on this thread – Jags never gibes less than 100% in every game, one of Moyes' typical signings – versatile, hard-working, team man. Didn't he play mid-field for us a few games before nailing down the right CB spot?

A fantastic servant – and, yes Martin (21), I can never forget that last-minute strike against the RedShite to help us salvage a point.

Nor the scoring spree he went on last season – scoring 3 goals in quick succession. We need players like him, Barry, Baines to keep the young 'hyped-up by the press' stars firmly grounded.

Peter Warren
26 Posted 18/06/2017 at 06:57:09
He can't play every week. However, he can play once a week and I can't see how he won't be needed.

Presently, if we had a cup final, he would be the first name I would write down in central defence.

Bob Butchard
27 Posted 18/06/2017 at 06:58:44
What a wonderful team man he has been for us, I would like to see him stay at Goodison in some capacity.

If he did prefer to keep playing for another season at a fairly high standard, then why not loan him out to his old club as a thank you for his great service to our great club. He has set a high bar for those who come next.

Kieran Fitzgerald
28 Posted 18/06/2017 at 07:25:50
It may depend on how much first team football we can offer him. Most fans would like to have him stay. As already stated above, his experience will be invaluable to any number of young defenders coming through at present.

But, he is coming to a stage in his career where he can see the finish line. If he only has one to two seasons left, he may want to cram as many games in as he can. Sheffield Utd may offer more games than us.

Dave Speed
29 Posted 18/06/2017 at 09:13:54
Lovely to see only positive comments about Jags. I remember when he first came and played in midfield and right back, and frankly didn't look the part. But Jags is Jags and he nailed down the centre-back role and never looked back. A man made of the same stuff as Dave Watson, Kevin Ratcliffe, Brian Labone and too many more to mention.

Best wishes Jags in whatever you choose to do and your place in blue heaven is assured. I will never forget the derby screamer!

Tony Abrahams
30 Posted 18/06/2017 at 09:24:02
I would have to agree with Ernie @21, especially his first paragraph, and thank Martin for showing us that wonderful goal!

The thing that struck me, Martin, is the first thing that must have struck Koeman,once he had accessed our squad because how the fuck Jagielka was allowed to run all the way to the half-way line without being pulled to the floor by one of his delighted team-mates after scoring such a goal in the last minute at Anfield, tells you everything about the mentality that Martinez, had created.

If Jagielka does go, I'm sure he will be fondly remembered by every Evertonian because, as people have said, he never once gave anything less than 100%.

Len Hawkins
31 Posted 18/06/2017 at 09:35:03
Having been released by Everton, he came back and grabbed his chance with both hands. His commitment was 100% and if he does go to start his transition to coaching elsewhere then I'm sure he will give it the same commitment.

If he stays then I don't think he will fail to give his all in the Everton cause. Could be a Europa League regular no matter who comes in.

David Donnellan
32 Posted 18/06/2017 at 09:36:46
I think his future will depend on whether he wants to take more of a backseat & prepare for coaching or whether he just wants to play regularly. Whichever way, he has my gratitude for 10 years committed service to the club & being captain & an all round great pro.

I too will always have fond memories of that fine strike against the shite. It was great watching a pub full of the smug bastards stream out the door when that burst the back of the net.

Dave Williams
33 Posted 18/06/2017 at 10:15:15
At his peak one, of the best centre-backs I have seen in 55 years of following Everton and not far short of Rats . The knee injury in 2009 seemed to take something out of him but he was still one of the best in the Premier League.

Nice bloke and with so many new players arriving, I would see value in keeping him to settle the new boys in and show them what the club is about. There are worse centre-backs in the squad than him.

Ray Robinson
34 Posted 18/06/2017 at 10:25:37
I agree with Vijay (#19). I'd sooner replace Williams than Jags.

Jags still has plenty to offer and rumours of his footballing demise are greatly exaggerated in my opinion. A great defender (our best at the end of last season), true professional and a top bloke to boot.

Colin Glassar
35 Posted 18/06/2017 at 10:29:11
Jagielka's biggest weakness, imo, is that he's too nice to be a great captain.
Jon Withey
36 Posted 18/06/2017 at 10:35:05
Seems daft to let go of him whilst we have the extra European games.
Ian Hollingworth
37 Posted 18/06/2017 at 10:35:18
If he stays he will be a bit part player as hopefully we will be buying at least one centre-back.

Great service but maybe the time is right for this move.

Rick Pattinson
38 Posted 18/06/2017 at 11:01:37
Would make sense, this one. Jags, you've been a legend and deserve to get what you want. Best for both parties. Good luck.
Geoff Williams
39 Posted 18/06/2017 at 11:12:53
Jagielka has been a great servant to the club and deserves to be given a role within the club. He could be a positive influence on the younger players. Even now he is a far better footballer than Williams who is an over rated liability.
Kenny Smith
40 Posted 18/06/2017 at 11:40:06
He should be around the club till he retires. This isn't based on sentiment but on the fact too many changes too quickly can cause theie own issues – especially when we have the amount of young players we have. He's the club captain and should remain so.

Jags has been superb for our club on and off the pitch since his move and he discovered he was never a centre midfielder in a million years but a very good centre-half.

Terry Underwood
41 Posted 18/06/2017 at 11:47:18
I was chuffed to bits when we signed Jags. Always gave 100%.

On the subject of age, if the Blue Kangaroo can get into the Aussie international squad at 37, then surely Jags can do a job for us off the bench at 35? Heads: if you are good enough you are old enough... Tails: if you are good enough you are young enough.

Dave Abrahams
42 Posted 18/06/2017 at 13:27:27
I couldn't help but like him for the simple reason he always gave one 100%.

I doubt he will go this season because I think he is due a benefit game in the coming season – he has been here 10 years.

Denis Richardson
43 Posted 18/06/2017 at 14:16:49
Guess it all depends on how much Jags wants to play. I think both he and Koeman know he won't be a regular starter next season. If he's not happy to play a bit-part role on the pitch then I can see him leaving. Would be nice if he was offered a role in the club.

He was a great servant but not really captain material, imo. All good things come to an end and at 35 the Premier League is unforgiving.

We need to get a new centre-back as Jags and Williams certainly shouldn't be playing together.

James Hughes
44 Posted 18/06/2017 at 14:57:23
I hope he stays for another season as we are lacking in defence and Koeman is moving between a back 3 and 4.

I have not been impressed by Williams in his debut season for us; he plays so deep and opens up the space in front.

Funes Mori divides opinion; I like his passion and think he is a decent player.

Will Koeman give Holgate a decent run as we have not seen what he can do in the middle of the defence yet? If we go 4 at the back then Kenny needs to be at right-back, not Holgate.

Anyway, to try and sum up my ramblings, I think Jags could do a more than a decent job this season. With the (hopefully) extra burden of Europa League games, we also need him.

(I say 'hopefully' as I think we could still do a West Ham and go out at the qualifying stage.)

Michael Burke
45 Posted 18/06/2017 at 17:01:01
He needs to stay for the continuity with what will hopefully be a glut of new signings. His blood runs blue as far as I'm concerned and his experience will be invaluable over the next few seasons for the young crop coming through.
David Currie
46 Posted 18/06/2017 at 22:57:52
Always liked Jags and given great service but time to move on although I agree that Williams should go before him as he is a cart horse. My only negative on Jags was he was too nice.
Tony Hill
47 Posted 18/06/2017 at 23:17:14
A good defender (though not, I'm afraid, as good as some on here are claiming) and a nice man; he was a timid captain. I would keep him for another year on suitable terms given our likely commitments, but he may want to go anyway.
James Stewart
48 Posted 18/06/2017 at 23:59:43
Great servant to the club and he still has something to offer in certain games. I would definitely keep him around unless he really wants a move.
John Smith
49 Posted 19/06/2017 at 03:42:00
His contract ends next summer. With extra games in Europe this season, we will surely keep him. We have too few centre-backs as it is.
John Pierce
50 Posted 19/06/2017 at 04:35:57
Time sometimes dims the memories but, before the really bad injury v Man City in '09, he was excellent from 06-09.

Noted to be a poor captain, tried to lead by example but not one ounce of nark in the lad.

The goal at Anfield was meaningful and spectacular, the faces in the kop as it flew in were a sight to behold.

Deserves to go if he wants to. Personally one more year in an improved team might see him do well.

Paul Birmingham
51 Posted 19/06/2017 at 14:22:47
Great servant to EFC and, in my view, similar to Mick Lyons but not as charismatic as a captain on the pitch. I hope he stays but would accept if he left on the basis of game time, but his experience would be handy in the dressing room.

Regardless, a top Evertonian and I wish Jags the best for this next season, whereever he may play.

Jay Wood
52 Posted 19/06/2017 at 16:06:33
Worth retaining for another season for me.

He unquestionably had a very woobly start to last season, deservedly lost his place but, typical of the man, grabbed his chance when restored to the side and played as well as anybody in defence.

Reports that he had lost his pace looked well off the mark to me. In races to the ball with known speed merchants like Vardy and Long, he more than held his own.

Jags will always have my respect for the effort and application he showed on the pitch. Centre-back is already a position that needs reinforcing, times 2, I would say. Letting him go would make that times 3.

Peter Mills
53 Posted 19/06/2017 at 18:35:27
Let's not forget those stats which demonstrated Jags to be the fastest player at the club over a short distance, and how he showed that with his lightning fast run-up to his penalty shootout winner against United at Wembley.

One of the greatest Everton moments I have experienced.

Sean Kearns
54 Posted 20/06/2017 at 02:45:29
I've never celebrated a single Everton goal from open play as much as I did this penalty!! just about shit me bills and I can't watch the video without tearing up.

Jags is a legend and should be talked about in tales of folklore long from now. He truly cared about us, and I don't mean the club, I mean me and you and all us blues. He always played for US!!
Colin Malone
55 Posted 20/06/2017 at 17:39:23
Why get rid? I think Jags has still got a lot to offer here. Still a great defender and a great professional.
Will Mabon
56 Posted 20/06/2017 at 20:09:26
Sean, video gets me a little, too. Wasn't at the game and watched on screen. Notice the only very brief glance Jagielka takes at goal when lining up. And then...
Dale Rose
57 Posted 21/06/2017 at 12:24:42
I'll be very sorry to see him go. He has another good season in him though. He typifies everything good and honorable about the game.
Mark Morrissey
58 Posted 22/06/2017 at 21:25:33
I wish he was just signing for us all over again. A model pro
Tom Bowers
59 Posted 22/06/2017 at 21:43:02
Jags has been a class act but like all of us, age catches up and sadly he has shown signs that he is past is best, somewhat in the same vein as John Terry.

However, Williams is none too reliable either and like most fans want to see soon, the signing of Keane or someone with the same ability to shore up the middle especially in the air.

Dave Abrahams
60 Posted 22/06/2017 at 22:02:28
Sean (#54) and Will (#56), going off the subject a bit, but the best part of that day, for me, was the Everton fans, from early in the morning getting the coach, and all the way down to Wembley, hoards of Blues singing and chanting all day long, outnumbered the United fans, right through the urged the Blues on. That was off the pitch; on the pitch the team stunk against a Man Utd team that was far from their best eleven.

The first real Everton shot at the goal was Cahill's in the penalty shoot out, we got through to the final and we fans enjoyed and revelled in the after-match celebration.

I stood and marvelled at our fans and a young fan said to me "This team doesn't deserve those fans." That summed it up for me.

Graham Mockford
61 Posted 22/06/2017 at 22:07:39
One of Moyes's best signings just behind Leighton and Tim but on a par with Howard, Arteta and Pienaar.

But time waits for no man; a return to Sheffield United sounds a good move.

Ray Robinson
62 Posted 22/06/2017 at 22:32:44
In relative decline but still far and away the best defender – miles ahead of Williams. With more games than usual next season including the Europa League, it would be far too soon to let Jags go.

Also, with so many new players set to arrive, it probably needs someone like Jags to keep the ship steady while they all bed in.

Roman Sidey
63 Posted 23/06/2017 at 20:16:09
Colin Glassar, spot on. Good player but should never have been made captain.

A year ago, I would have been happy to see him go, but now not so much as he did play better last season than he had in a very long time. His knee injury in 2009 definitely set him back and, honestly, he has never recovered to that same pre-injury level.

I actually don't think the Championship is the right place for a Premier League player in his career's twilight. The refs don't blow their whistles half as much for fouls, and there is a hell of a lot more football to be played with a longer season, and an extra round in the cups. He would be better to "do a Terry" and stick it out here for one more season and then perhaps find a lowly Premier League side he can do a job for.

"Always gives 100%" is damning praise too. It is a compliment you give to a person of limited talents, and watching Jags on the ball, it is pretty fitting. Good servant to the club? Yes, but the type of player that belongs in Everton's past, not future.

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