Everton's loyal and reliable central defender, Phil Jagielka was deservedly one of the most secure players for England's trip to Brazil this summer. Rock steady in the defensive role, Jagielka will face the initial task of rebuffing attacks from Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D, but has also scored for England to make him very available to take a punt on in individual goalscorer markets thanks to the obvious long betting odds he carries as a defender.
Jagielka's early days through school saw him play in many roles including goalkeeper and winger, the centre back joining the academy of Everton as a youngster before also spending spells training with clubs such as Stoke City, Manchester City and then Sheffield United where he remained from 1998 until 2007, starting at 15 years of age.
After two years at the youth squad, Jagielka soon rose into the senior team after the year 2000 and went on to make an admirable 287 starts with the club in seven years. He established himself in the Sheffield United first-team during the 2002/03 season, and went on to score 22 goals during his time with the Blades to warrant attention from rival clubs.
Jagielka's versatility showed itself against Arsenal in December 2006, forced to play in goal after an injury to Sheffield United keeper Paddy Kenny. Jagielka saved from the side's future star striker Robin van Persie, securing a 1–0 victory famously.
Everton took the defender from Sheffield United for £4 million in July 2007, homing himself into an important member of the first team ever since during his 245 appearances for the Merseyside club, scoring nine goals in that period also and being named as the squad's most recent captain.
Jagielka was named in the England squad for the first time in 2007 for a 'B' international game and for the senior side in 2008. Jagielka scored a first goal for his country against Italy in 2012, a diving header during a 2–1 friendly victory in Switzerland - one of 25 appearances that includes eight World Cup qualifiers and a friendly goal against Peru.
Phil Jagielka World Cup Betting Tips
Jagielka's defensive tenacity will be a welcoming factor for England's World Cup campaign this summer, and his partnership with Chelsea centre back Gary Cahill is one of the side's strongest in recent years. Both are prone to a set piece goal for their respective clubs, so Jagielka could provide a healthy profit in individual World Cup goalscorer markets, while his hard-working ethics make him a potential man of the match contender.