It’s looking like Everton will not be selling their captain after all. Ronald Koeman said today on the eve of the January transfer window closing that Phil Jagielka would not be transferred out on deadline day.
Speaking to evertonfc.com, the Dutchman said -
“I spoke to Jags about his situation and he accepted it.
“He knows he needs to fight like every other player that is maybe not as involved (as they would like to be) or is not starting because we need competition.
“We know we have a lot of competition in midfield but we also need competition with the defenders, and we need competition with the front players.
“I understand it’s difficult for Jags because he’s the captain but we’d like to keep him as he can play an important role to the end of the season.”
Jagielka has struggled at times this season, including a torrid run of games when he conceded three penalties and made multiple mistakes. Since that time he has played second fiddle to the trio of Ashley Williams, Ramiro Funes Mori and Mason Holgate as Koeman has chosen to go with a three-man backline.
Everton were expected to make an offer for a central defender or two on deadline day, but with Jagielka now expected to stay until the end of the season at least, now that is looking unlikely.
Jags was one of the players that was linked with former Blues boss David Moyes’ Toffees reunion project at Sunderland, the latest members of which were Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson who signed on earlier today.