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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Phil Jagielka

Full Name: Filip Nikodem Jagiełka
Date of birth: 17.08.1982
Place of birth: Manchester
Height: 1,80
Nationality: England
Position: Defence - Centre Back
Foot: right
Nickname: Jags
Team Supported As Youngster: Man Utd

Jagielka is a fine central defender who missed much of 2011/12 through injury and struggled to get back into the side due to the outstanding form of Johnny Heitinga.

Did You Know? Jags was on Everton's books as a youngster!

Jagielka made his way through the youth ranks at Sheffield United before making his first team debut on 5 May 2000 against Swindon Town in the final League match of the 1999–2000 season, whilst still a trainee.

He was rewarded with a professional contract the following day and having progressed well at the start of the following season, he signed a three-year deal with the club in January 2001.

He established himself in the Sheffield United first-team in the 2002–03 season and started to attract the attention of other clubs, including Leeds United, who were linked with a £6m joint bid for Jagielka and United team mate Michael Brown, but Sheffield United said they would resist any attempts to sign the players.

Jagielka stated in April 2005 he was happy to stay at United, despite several Premier League clubs being interested in signing him. United manager Neil Warnock told West Ham United in June 2005 that Jagielka would not be sold, and in July Wigan Athletic made a £4m bid for Jagielka, after which United upped their valuation of him.

By November, Jagielka had been linked with a £4m move to Bolton Wanderers, but United manager Neil Warnock said there had been no contact from Bolton.

Jagielka signed a new three-year deal with United in August 2006. He played as team captain in Chris Morgan's absence. Jagielka gave United their first Premiership victory since April 1994 when he hit a 91st minute half-volley against Middlesbrough for a 2–1 win in September 2006.

Despite being recognised as one of United's key players, chairman Kevin McCabe admitted that Jagielka could be sold if the price was high enough. In a home match against Arsenal on 30 December 2006, due to a thigh injury to starting goalkeeper Paddy Kenny and with his side 1–0 up, Jagielka was forced to play in goal for the remainder of the match.

Arsenal were kept at bay for the remaining thirty-four minutes and Jagielka's late save from Robin van Persie secured the 1–0 victory. His ability to deputise in goal meant that Neil Warnock was able to – and usually did – do without a substitute goalkeeper on the bench in order to give himself more tactical options (League rules then limited the number of substitutes to 5).

By the end of the 2006–07 season, he had made 133 consecutive league appearances for United, including every league match in the 2004–05 and 2005–06 seasons and every minute of the 2006–07 season.

When Sheffield United were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2006–07 season, Jagielka was linked with moves away from United and goalkeeper Paddy Kenny said he believed it was time Jagielka moved on. New United boss Bryan Robson urged Jagielka to wait for the outcome of the club's relegation arbitration hearing before deciding to leave the club.

Jagielka eventually signed for Everton on 4 July 2007, in a deal worth £4 million on a five-year contract, the highest amount ever paid for a Sheffield United player. He made his home debut at Goodison Park on 31 July 2007 as a second half substitute in a pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen, replacing Joseph Yobo in central defence.

After a slow start to his Everton career, Jagielka developed into an important member of the first team. He scored his first Everton goal in the UEFA Cup against AZ Alkmaar. He scored an own goal against Wigan Athletic, although Everton won 2–1. He put in a succession of man of the match performances in the following games, against Tottenham, Brann and Manchester City. He scored his first league goal for Everton against Reading on 9 February 2008.

Jagielka started the 2008–09 season as first-choice centre-back, playing every minute of every league game until being injured in a 2–1 home defeat to Manchester City. He won Player of the Month for February and won Everton's fans and club player of the season.

Jagielka scored the winning penalty for Everton in a penalty shoot-out in the semi-final of the FA Cup against Manchester United, but he was claimed to have fouled Danny Welbeck after 68 minutes, with many claiming it to be a Penalty, which the referee did not award Soon afterwards he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament playing against Manchester City, and as a consequence missed the 2009 FA Cup Final.

After missing the end of the 2008–09 season and more than half of 2009–10, Jagielka played his first senior fixture since the cruciate ligament injury in an away game against Sporting C.P. in the UEFA Europa League in February 2010, coming on as a substitute for an injured Philippe Senderos.

During the 2012-13 season Jagielka was excellent and even captained the club on several occasions in Phil Neville's absence. Also he committed his long term future to the club when he signed a new contract.

From the 2013-14 season Jagielka will be Everton's new club captain.

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