The future of long time Everton captain Phil Jagielka has been an interesting point of discussion this summer. Given the presence of multiple younger, better center backs on the roster, it was widely rumored that Jags may be exiting Goodison Park, perhaps for old club Sheffield United.
That did not turn out to be the case. Today, Everton have extended Jagielka’s contract through the summer of 2019.
Speaking to EvertonTV, Jags mentioned his excitement over the Blues’s summer thus far.
That is what you want to be part of. The Club is moving forward. I do not think the transfer business is finished but it is good that we have got people in nice and early.
For the Chairman to offer me the extra year - hopefully I can play my role, whatever that might be. First and foremost, I want to get myself in that team and do my bit on the pitch.
Realistically, winning a trophy is an aim this season, next season… and into the future. We want to be competing for things. We have the European game coming up, we want to get through that, then we will look forward to competing in four competitions this season and performing in every one.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman was pleased with the news.
With his commitment to the Club and more than 10 years of experience here at Everton, Phil is a natural captain and his continued level of fitness contributes also to him being a really important player for us.
The fact that he has been an Everton player for a decade now underlines his character and why he is a player admired by many people, and also by the manager.
While there may be a section of fans displeased by Jagielka’s extension, there’s no doubt that he displayed good form in the latter half of last season, and provides a certain measure of stability and consistency along the Blues’ back line.
The captain will be expected to back up Ashley Williams and Michael Keane, and will likely still get some playing time even if another defender is acquired. Reports surfaced yesterday that another veteran, Gareth Barry, was also in line for a one-year extension but that news has not been confirmed as yet.
Jagielka, 34, has been an Evertonian since 2007. He took over the captaincy from Phil Neville in 2013, and has 18 career goals for the Blues. It’s likely that Jagielka will have a testimonial match next summer.