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Phil Jagielka returns to Sheffield United after leaving Everton

Phil Jagielka returns to Sheffield United after leaving Everton
© Reuters
The defender was part of the Blades squad that played in the Premier League in 2006-07.

Phil Jagielka has returned to Sheffield United after a 12-year spell with Everton.

The 36-year-old defender has signed a one-year deal at Bramall Lane ahead of the Blades' return to Premier League football in August.

Jagielka was United's vice-captain during their last top-flight campaign in 2006-07 and following relegation he left Sheffield to join Everton, for whom he made almost 400 appearances.

United boss Chris Wilder told the club's official website: "I don't have to sign players for the fans to pat us on the back, we're signing Phil because he is a really good footballer and a great character to have around in our first season back in the Premier League.

"He's got an obvious history with the club which is fantastic, but meeting up with him and seeing his desire makes me delighted to see Jags back at home.

"He's had a fantastic career, he was deserving of his move when we dropped out of the top flight last time and he went to a fantastic club and played all those games in the Premier League and captained England.

"To have Phil in and around our changing room in one of the most important seasons in our recent history is going to be invaluable.

Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock celebrates victory over Arsenal with stand-in goalkeeper Jagielka in 2006
Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock celebrates victory over Arsenal with stand-in goalkeeper Jagielka in 2006 (Rui Vieira/PA)

"He's come to play, he knows he's got to earn his place, but I'm buzzing having spent time with him and seen the desire he's got to succeed at the back end of his career."

Manchester-born Jagielka made his Blades debut in 2000 and became an established part of the first team who ultimately won promotion to the Premier League under Neil Warnock in 2006.

A key performer and ever-present centre-back during the campaign that followed, he scored a memorable winner against Middlesbrough and went in goal against Arsenal in the December of that year thanks to an injury to starting keeper Paddy Kenny. He kept the Gunners out as United won 1-0.

Twelve years at Everton included an appearance in the FA Cup final, while on the international stage Jagielka – currently on 40 England caps – captained his country against Lithuania in October 2015.

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