'Duo Can Return Fresh'

@Everton

Derek Mountfield hopes the exclusion of Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines from England’s Euro 2016 squad can be to the benefit of Everton.

The duo were absent from Roy Hodgson’s 23-man group for the ongoing tournament in France despite having 39 and 30 caps respectively and being regulars throughout the qualifiers.

Former Blues defender Mountfield believes spells on the sideline for the pair during 2015/16 may have played a part in their omission.

Baines suffered an ankle injury on the eve of the campaign and subsequent setbacks restricted him to just 23 outings, while Jagielka sustained knee ligament and hamstring complaints causing him to miss 17 of the Toffees’ matches.

"I’m disappointed for Jags and Bainesy not being there,” Mountfield told evertontv. “It might have been handy taking Jags as an elder statesman. They’ve both been in and out of the team with injury so maybe that played a part in them not making the squad, but it’ll do them good to have a summer off.

"It’s always nice to put your feet up for a period of time and let your body recover before the hard pre-season schedule hits you.”

Baines has already been back at Finch Farm to work on his fitness in advance. Look out for an interview with the left-back on evertontv on Wednesday.

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