Everton defender Phil Jagielka has been the best English defender in the last 12 months because of his consistency, manager Roberto Martinez has said.
The England international has made nine appearances for the Toffees so far and has helped them keep three clean sheets this campaign and Martinez felt the 33-year-old defender is not getting the credit he deserves.
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“I think it’s about time that Jagielka gets the credit that he deserves. In my eyes he has been the most consistent and best English centre half we have had in the last 12 months,” Martinez was quoted as saying by the British media.
With some impressive young defenders coming through the Everton first team in recent season, including John Stones and Brendan Galloway, Martinez said Jagielka’s efficiency at the back allows other defenders to perform better.
“It is no coincidence anyone who plays alongside him performs. Anyone who plays in that back four is given the opportunity to express themselves and allowed to be effective and that’s down to Jagielka,” he said.
Argentine Ramiro Funes Mori, who joined the club on deadline day and put in an impressive performance on his Merseyside derby debut against Liverpool on Sunday, said he was relishing the physical battle in the English game.
“Premier League football is very physical and the intensity of the game is high,” Funes Mori told the Liverpool Echo (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk).
“I have to keep adapting to the Premier League but I really like it and I’m enjoying my moment and I want to keep playing.”