Official: Phil Jagielka returns to Sheffield United

Sheffield United have this evening confirmed Phil Jagielka’s return to the club, 12 years to the day since his departure for Everton.

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Toffees icon

Veteran central-defender Jagielka left Bramall Lane for Goodison Park on July 4th 2007, in a £4 million deal.

And to say that the stopper’s signature since proved a superb piece of business would be putting it lightly.

Jagielka went on to cement himself as something of a symbol for the Toffees over the course of his decade+ stay on Merseyside, with his stout defensive presence, leadership qualities and professionalism having all proven of the highest order.

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All told, the 40-time capped English international racked up almost 400 appearances in Everton’s colours, also acting as club captain for the last 6 campaigns.

After continuing to play a prominent role in the first-team plans of the Goodison outfit up until the 2017/18 season, though, when he managed 23 Premier League starts, Jagielka’s game-time subsequently fell off a cliff following Marco Silva’s appointment last summer.

The presence of the likes of Kurt Zouma, Yerry Mina and Michael Keane eventually led to the aging defender appearing just 7 times in the league over the last 10 months.

‘Journey has come to an end’

As such, with Jagielka’s contract having been set to expire this past Monday, and his 37th birthday next month, it always appeared unlikely that the stopper would have any prospects at Everton beyond this summer.

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As a result, eventual confirmation of the Toffees’ icon’s departure did not come as much of a surprise.

Taking to social media on this day last month, Jagielka posted a farewell message to Everton’s fans, thanking all associated with the Merseyside outfit for ’12 fantastic seasons’:

United return

And, after officially becoming a free agent earlier this week, Jagielka has not taken long to find a new club.

As confirmed across social media a short time ago, the English veteran has made a return to Sheffield United.

Jagielka will add some crucial Premier League experience to the Blades’ backline, ahead of their return to the top-flight this coming season.

The stopper has put pen-to-paper on an initial one-year deal at Bramall Lane:

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