Phil Jagielka will probably see out his career at Everton after the centre-back penned a new contract with the club extending his stay until 2017, a time span that could witness a Toffees resurgence on the world footballing stage.
Jagielka signed the new deal on the day the club released financial results that show a steep increase in net loss from £5.4m in 2010/11 to £9.1m in 2011/12 – a rise mainly down to higher wage demands as David Moyes builds a more competitive squad.
Indeed, the club now reportedly spend £63.4m on player salaries per year, around 75% of its turnover. In 2010/11 Everton were the 15th highest spenders in the league yet finished in 7th place, a result that raised this patronising adulation for Moyes of having ‘done oh so well on such little resources’.
Well, with the news Jagielka has signed a new deal and Seamus Coleman extended his contract until 2018, it appears the club are ready to move forward and speculate more with their finances – securing the long-term services of their players so they can stage an attack on the upper echelons of the Premier League, something punters over at Betfair have taken note of.
Everton have already looked healthy this season and sit in fifth place below the cavalier Tottenham and an unpredictable Chelsea side. Although income is scarce they have invested in the squad with Steven Pienaar (£4.5m), Kevin Mirallas (£6m) and Nikica Jelavic (£6m) all arriving over the past 12 months and their top four Premier League odds are the lowest they have been for years.
Moyes was ‘lucky’ to sell Mikel Arteta and Jack Rodwell for £25m combined, two transfers that have probably instigated a new policy of anchoring stalwart players to big contracts.
For that is where Everton will find success in the future: not in big-name signings but from a team of players together over a number of seasons battling for the same cause. In Jagielka they have a leader in defence for four more years and Coleman an exciting talent for the midfield.
Darron Gibson, Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini are all tied down until 2016, while Jelavic will stay with the Toffees a year later, meaning Moyes now has a settled squad ready to take on more difficult challenges in the league and in Europe.