Everton legend Phil Jagielka has this evening taken to social media to confirm that he is set to exit the club on a free transfer this summer.
Veteran central-defender Jagielka has been on Everton’s books since 2007, when he made the move to Goodison Park from Sheffield United for just £4 million.
And to say that the stopper’s signature has since proven a superb piece of business would be putting it lightly.
Jagielka has gone 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.
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 last 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 set to expire at the beginning of next month, and the stopper set to turn 37 in August, it always appeared unlikely that he would have any prospects at Everton beyond this summer.
As a result, confirmation of the Toffees’ icon’s imminent departure has since come as little surprise.
Taking to social media a short time ago, Jagielka posted a farewell message to the club’s fans, thanking all associated with the Merseyside outfit for ’12 fantastic seasons’:
View this post on Instagram
Its been hard to confirm my situation for next season as that decision hadn’t been fully made by the club until now, unfortunately my journey at Everton has come to an end after 12 fantastic seasons, I hav been lucky enough to play over 380 games and lucky enough to be club captain for 6 years .All I can say is thanks to all the players I’ve played along side, all the staff that have helped me in thier own way, The Chairman and of course the Amazing fans 💙 wishing everyone associated with this special clubs the very best for the future!! COYB (c) 6️⃣💙
Everton have since also confirmed the news, thanking Jagielka for his service:
🔵 | Thank you for everything, @PJags06!
After 12 seasons at Goodison Park, captain Phil Jagielka is to leave Everton. Good luck in your next chapter! 💙 pic.twitter.com/JZYB8E3Vjm
— Everton (@Everton) June 4, 2019