Wednesday 16 November 2011
Defender Phil Jagielka says Everton team-mate Jack Rodwell has filled the midfield hole vacated by Mikel Arteta.
Rodwell was on target in the Toffees' 2-1 defeat by Newcastle on Saturday and the 20-year-old has been rewarded for his consistent performances with a call-up to the England squad for the forthcoming friendlies against Spain and Sweden.
Jagielka, one of three Everton players in Fabio Capello's squad alongside left-back Leighton Baines and Rodwell, said the midfielder has made a noticeable improvement this season with a number of consistent performances, especially since the transfer deadline day sale of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal in August.
"We have said with Mikel leaving and us being short of numbers in the middle it was time for Jack to step up and he has been fantastic since he has done so," Jagielka told Evertontv.
"He was unfortunate with the red card against Liverpool but other than that he has been up there with our players of the season so far."