Ratcliffe: Jagielka can be Everton captain

Ratcliffe: Jagielka can be Everton captain

Former FA Cup-winning captain Kevin Ratcliffe reckons Phil Jagielka could become permanent skipper at Everton.

The 52-year-old feels the former Sheffield United defender has what it takes to become the next leader of the Toffees after Jagielka deputised for Phil Neville earlier on in the season.

He told the club’s official website: “He certainly fits the bill to be a future captain.
“He’s an organiser, a talker and an international as well. I think he’s one that the players look up to, especially the younger lads when they come in.

“He’s been here now for five-and-a-half years and his deal will take him up to 10 years.

“When you’ve been at a club that long, people will look to you for leadership. Everybody does and the one thing you have to do is keep putting performances in. I’m sure he’ll do that.”

Jagielka has been playing as a makeshift right-back this season to fill the gap left by the injured Seamus Coleman, although is now back at centre-back, partnering Sylvain Distin again, as the Republic of Ireland international has made a recent recovery.

Ratcliffe believes Jagielka and Distin make a very good pair at the back, and sees similarities between the 30-year-old and himself.

He added: “I think we would have been too similar to play alongside each other. You need someone like a Sylvain Distin next to you to gel. Me, I had Dave Watson.

“The likes of myself and Jagielka might have been too similar in style to form a partnership. He’s got what a Distin needs – he’s someone who can read a game, can compliment his play and they work together really well.

“I think defenders improve with age, with the experience. As you get older, you’re not as supple and as quick but you read the game quicker. You can sense things better and Jagielka’s got all those attributes.”

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