It’s been a tough season for Everton club captain Phil Jagielka. Dropped from the starting eleven after a series of unconvincing performances, he ended the season back in the lineup but with no guarantees made of his future.
He only played in 27 Premier League games, the lowest in his career for a season without a major injury layoff. Jagielka has been a mainstay of the Toffees backline since his move to the club in 2007, but with the arrival of Ashley Williams, has seen his minutes cut drastically.
While there is still a squad depth role for the captain in the team for next season, it is unlikely he will be playing in more than a handful of games here and there for Everton going forward.
The 40-time England international will be turning 35 in a couple of months and might need to look elsewhere if he is hoping for some regular minutes as he sees out his professional career with just one year left on his current contract with the Blues.
Watch Jagielka on the wrong end of a foul-mouthed rant from Blades manager at the time Neil Warnock during halftime of a game (warning - NSFW!).
Recently rumours surfaced that he could be contemplating a return to Sheffield United, the only other football club he has played for apart from Everton. Speaking to Talksport earlier today, he addressed the speculation about a Blades bid for him -
“If there was, obviously I wouldn’t be coming on the radio discussing it! That is a nice try.
“I’ve heard the rumours myself, but as of yet there’s nothing in that.”
Everton face a daunting season ahead with a possibility of playing close to 60 games should they make long runs in the domestic Cups and the Europa League, and will stretch their squad depth in doing so.
Having Jagielka’s wise old head on the pitch could be a useful weapon in Ronald Koeman’s arsenal next season as the Blues mount a challenge on multiple fronts, and the Blues will likely be happy to let him go as a free agent back to his first club.