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[Transfer Targets] Low Down On Phil Jagielka: Is He What Arsenal Need?

Having made over 440 appearances for club and country since making his debut for Sheffield United in 2000, Phil Jagielka has slowly established himself as one of England’s senior centre-backs and in recent years has been in contention for the England team.

The heir-apparent to the Everton captaincy with Phil Neville not getting any younger, according to many media sources Arsenal have targeted 28-year-old ‘Jags’ as the dominant defender to partner Thomas Vermaelen at the back after the lack of leadership skills shown by Johan Djourou as well as indifferent showings from Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci – but is Jagielka the commander at the back Arsenal need?

What’s his pedigree?: Jags, unlike all of our players, came up through the ranks of Sheffield United who played in what was then known as Division 1 and later became the championship – he established his place in the side in 2002 as a central midfielder and after winning promotion with the side in 2006, spent one year in the Premier League with the blades until their relegation and his £4 million move to Everton in the summer of 2007 where he now plays as a centre back. Six-foot Jagielka has played at Uefa Cup and International level with Everton and is known for his consistency, pace and aerial prowess. Although he isn’t the agricultural centre-half (unlike Chris Samba) that many Arsenal fans want to see he is more likely to attract Wenger due to his versatility, technique and fitness: Jagielka has had just one serious injury in his entire career and can play at centre-back, in central midfield, at right-back or in goal.

How’s the chemistry?: Right-footed Jags would most definitely partner Thomas Vermaelen and play on the right of the two – the only worry would be that neither player is as tall as strikers like Didier Drogba, Andy Carroll etc. who we have struggled against in the past and will most likely struggle against again next season. Considering that we already have five centre-backs in the side, should Jagielka come we can expect to see one sold or loaned out to ease the pressure on our wage bill. Jagielka is definitely a potential captain having deputised at both his clubs – he’s exactly the sort of vocal player Arsenal should be buying when addressing criticism of lack of leaders on the pitch. The only real worry with Jags his lack of goals, with 26 in 428 games which is poor, especially for an Arsenal target.

Do we have a chance?: Jagielka has four years left on his contract and so will definitely not come cheap – we reportedly had a £12 million bid turned down last summer and have had another £10 million bid refused this summer; the fact we offered less this year is ridiculous when you look at the great season Jagielka has had. Wages won’t be a problem with Jagielka currently receiving circa £40,000-per-week (which is nearly twenty grand less than Denilson) but like many of our transfer targets, the transfer will be a problem with the Everton valuation at £18 million which we could conceivably lower to £16 million.  

Likely bid: £12 million. Probability: 6/10.

Submitted by clockendview – just another Arsenal blog

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