Everton manager David Moyes believes Phil Jagielka is as good a defender as they come, and says he can be a match for anybody in the country.
Jagielka has turned in a number of impressive performances for the Toffees during their late season surge, and has established himself as a key figure in Moyes' first team.
With just one defeat in their last ten Barclays Premier League outings, Everton's charge up the table has been based on solid foundations, built from the back forward.
And Moyes paid tribute to the 28-year-old England international for the pivotal part he has played in the club's upturn in form.
"What he has about him is as good as anyone in the country, it really is. He's a great recovery defender," he said.
"There are bits of his game that will improve, but who could you not say that about?
"He is very valuable to us and that's why we have got him here on a long-term contract."
Since joining Everton from Sheffield United in 2007, Jagielka has come on leaps and bounds, and was rewarded for his fine form by signing a new four-and-a-half year contract in January.
Having pledged his future to the Goodison Park club, Moyes can only see the future getting better and better for Jagielka.
"I've said many times I see him as a future captain at Everton, and the way he's playing just now he's doing that."
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