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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Andy Lewis @efc_andylewis

Jack Rodwell believes he and Marouane Fellaini can excel at the heart of the Everton midfield this season.
Both players looked in fine form against Aston Villa last weekend – Fellaini an imperious presence in front of the back four and a much sharper Rodwell looking as though he had reaped the full benefit from a game and a half while away with England Under-21s.
With those two operating in tandem, flanked by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Seamus Coleman and with Leon Osman pushing on, the Blues were able to dominate the middle of the park against the Villans.
And with Rodwell still just 20 and Fellaini 23; it is easy to understand why some supporters were calling the duo the future of the Everton engine room.
“It is nice to hear things like that from the fans,” Rodwell told evertontv. “Fellaini did really well at the weekend and is a really good player.
“If that is a partnership that works and people like then maybe that can be the partnership for the season, but I know there are a lot of good central midfielders at the club so I am taking nothing for granted.”
Since breaking into the Everton side as a teenager, there has been much discussion as to the best way to utilise Rodwell’s talents.
Initially it was thought the defensive side of midfield play suited him best and, while admitting that role comes naturally to him, Rodwell prefers to operate as a more traditional type of midfielder.
“I am still developing as a player,” he added. “It seems a long time ago I made my debut and I do feel as though I have come on an awful lot as a player but I am still only 20 and hopefully I can continue learning and getting better.
“I probably play best as a central midfielder in a two or a three. I can sit and defend or I can get forward as well but I like to get box-to-box – you get forward then you get back.
“I like getting forward – as everyone does – but like I say, I can also play defensive midfield. I have played centre-half most of my life so it is not a problem.”

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