Andy Hinchcliffe has paid tribute to Phil Neville after the Everton captain revealed his decision to leave the Club at the end of the season.
Neville, 36, announced his pending departure via evertonfc.com on Tuesday morning, with the curtain set to come down on a memorable stay at Goodison Park next month.
Hinchcliffe made over 200 appearances for the Blues between 1990 and 1998 and was quick to praise Neville’s commitment and impact during his own eight-year spell.
"He's been a fantastic signing for Everton," he said. "He's been absolutely terrific for the Club. The standards of his training, the way that he thinks about the game and the way that he performs for the Club will have pulled a lot of the younger players along with him as well.
"I think he was a fantastic signing for David Moyes to bring in, proving that Everton can attract players from top clubs. I'm sure fans will be disappointed that he's now decided to leave."
Neville joined the Blues in 2005 following over a decade of success at Manchester United. With Hinchcliffe having swapped the blue of neighbours City for that of the Toffees, it's a switch he can relate to.
"Phil's move in the first place was a brave one,” he explained. “He could easily have stayed at Manchester United for a number of years, maybe not playing the amount of games he wanted to. But to leave there and go to Merseyside was a massive move.
"He will have felt he had a big point to prove, as I did when I left Manchester City for Everton.
"But to actually decide to go to Everton and make the contribution that he has over the years has been absolutely fantastic.”
Click here to read Phil Neville's statement.
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