Jagielka On Goodison Return

Phil Jagielka expects to encounter a “mixture of emotions” when he returns to Goodison Park with Sheffield United on Saturday.

Centre-back Jagielka rejoined the Blades in July following 12 years with Everton when he played 385 matches and scored 19 goals.

Only the trio of Tim Howard, Leon Osman and Leighton Baines have featured more times in the Premier League for Everton than Jagielka, who made 322 top-flight appearances for the Club.

Jagielka was appointed Everton captain in 2013 and wore the armband for six years until his departure earlier this year.

He brought down the curtain on his Blues career with a popular appearance from the bench in Everton’s final home game of last season, against Burnley.

“It will be a really strange feeling for me to go to Goodison,” said Jagielka.

“I wasn’t able to go back to Bramall Lane in an Everton shirt and that would have generated similar emotions.

“To be at a club so long and go back will be quite strange and, I imagine, generate a mixture of emotions.”

Jagielka started his career with Sheffield United and made his senior debut for the club as a 17-year-old in May 2000.

He played more than 200 games before joining Everton in what would prove a bargain £4million deal.

Jagielka won the first of his 40 England caps 12 months after transferring to Goodison and represented his country at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The 37-year-old helped Everton secure three top-five Premier League finishes – the Blues finished outside the top eight only twice in Jagielka’s 12 years – and struck the decisive penalty in a 2009 FA Cup semi-final shootout against Manchester United.

Sheffield United have made an encouraging start to their first top-flight campaign since 2007 – and only two years after being promoted from League One.

Chris Wilder’s side will come to Goodison after draws against Bournemouth and Chelsea in their opening two away games and with five points from five matches.

“The first game I looked at when I signed was when we would be playing Everton,” added Jagielka.

“I can’t really tell you exactly what I expect or how I will feel emotionally but it is a match I am looking forward to.”