Three Phil Jagielka replacements Everton must consider in January
Former England international Phil Jagielka has entered the final year of his contract at Everton.
The 36-year-old defender started his career with Sheffield United in 2000 and helped them achieve promotion to the Premier League for the 2006/07 season. Following a successful seven-year spell with Sheffield United, Phil Jagielka joined Everton in 2007.
After over a decade of service at Goodison Park, the centre-back has reasonably slowed down and started feeling his legs. After serving a three-game ban this season and recovering from a knee injury, Jagielka has also found limited game time.
At 36, Jagielka is in the twilight of his career and it’s high time Marco Silva starts eyeing potential replacements. That being said, here are three replacements Everton must consider.
Scott McKenna (Aberdeen)
Scott McKenna has been one of the most consistent defenders in the Scottish Premiership this season. The Aberdeen centre-back has put in some strong displays at the back and Everton must certainly consider making a move for him in January.
McKenna, 23, is a strong and physically imposing centre-back who is also comfortable with the ball at his feet. Due to his towering frame, he is a threat from set-pieces and is a leader on and off the pitch.
With Jagielka reaching the end of his career, McKenna should definitely be one player on Everton’s radar.
Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)
Nathan Ake has impressed for Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth this season and has garnered attention from Tottenham Hotspur, according to the Sun. Ake is valued at around £40million and Everton must splash the cash to land him in January.
Everton looks like a good place for Ake’s development. The Dutchman is a strong defender and a very good reader of the game. Having played in a three-man central defence at Bournemouth, the 23-year-old would also adapt accordingly should Silva use the formation at Everton.
Ake has shown a lot of promise at the Vitality and has all the tools to become a top centre-half in the near future.
Eder Balanta (FC Basel)
Perhaps the injuries have robbed him of a little sharpness but Eder Balanta was once considered as one of the most coveted in centre-backs in world football.
Strong in the tackle and dominant in the air, Balanta could be a shrewd acquisition for Everton. He is a ball-playing centre-back blessed with a decent turn of pace and agility.
Read more: Why Everton must sign this powerful 25-year-old forward in January to solve their goalscoring woes
At 25, the Colombian centre-half should take the next big step of his career soon. Everton must certainly make a move for Balanta, who could build a strong partnership at the back with his compatriot, Yerry Mina.