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Phil Jagielka believes Jack Rodwell could flourish as an attacking midfielder.

So far in his fledgling career, Rodwell has been transformed from a central defender at youth team level into a defensive midfielder.

But in recent weeks he's been operating in a more advanced midfield role, scoring goals against Manchester United and Hull City before setting Everton's second in the 2-0 win over Manchester City.

“We scored two fantastic goals, but the second one shows you how Jack is growing up.

“He is coming on and playing important roles in games. A lot of people think that because Jack has played defensive roles all of his career that ultimately he will be more suited to that.

“But he’s a young lad and one of the better athletes in our team. His touch is immaculate, his vision’s good and he’s right and left footed. If we can get him running at teams as proven by the Manchester United game and tonight there are more dimensions to his game."

Jagielka even likened Rodwell's emergence to that of Steven Gerrard, the Liverpool player who has transformed into an effective attacking midfielder after breaking through in a more defensive role.

“It took Steven Gerrard a couple of seasons to shrug off the defensive midfielder tag and become an all-round midfielder and now he’s obviously a goal-scoring attacking midfielder. Where Jack will end up I wouldn’t put any money on, but at the moment if we are positive with him we can put him out there. When he came on for Ossie in the Hull game he did fantastic again.

“He is happy and if he is setting up goals and scoring goals, then he is going to be progressing very well.”

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