Everton are losing their most experienced player as Phillip Neville has decided to move on when his current contract expires this summer.
So what of the man who replaces him as club captain?
As far back as November David Moyes practically confirmed that Jags would replace Neville as captain. Well he actually said that he 'sees Jags as Phil (Neville)'s natural successor'. Phil Jagielka is arguably the club’s most consistent defender at present so he should see this news as an opportunity to step up and truly take responsibility for the team.
He’s well suited to that role because he’s consistently selected for the side when he’s fit and has only been missing recently because of injury. In recent weeks with Neville again out injured Jagielka has taken on the armband with aplomb which further enhances his candidacy for the role.
He’s played 30 games this season, which suggests he’s the first name down on the team sheet when it comes to the back four and that should be the same with the leader of any side.
He’s got plenty of experience but at 30-years-old he’s still got plenty of playing time left in his career which suggests longevity. It would be pointless of David Moyes to name him as captain if he only had another year or two at the most to play.
Which brings up the added question of what this decision means in regards to Moyes' own long-term plans.
With Moyes out of contract at the end of the season there has been plenty of talk about his future at Goodison Park. Reportedly disillusioned with the inactivity in the transfer window, lack of spending money and European football many believe he may finally decide he has taken the club as far as he can and consider moving on.
But the assertion of Jag's as the natural successor could be seen as a delicate clue to his future at the club. Perhaps the writing is not as on the wall as we think?
Of course he could be referring to Jags as the natural successor in purely opinionated fashion. In which case he may have caused a problem for any incumbent replacement who may have eyes on a new player or other member of the squad for the role of captaincy.
Regardless the new role can only be good for Jagielka and that extra level of responsibility should also help him raise his game to the point where he’s able to retain his international place with England on a consistent basis.
So far he’s been in and out of Roy Hodgson’s team but if he can perform consistently well as the Everton captain it becomes more difficult for Hodgson to overlook him and leave him out for crucial international fixtures.
Once Jagielka is back in the England side he has the right sort of character and quality to ensure that he stays there for a very long time. Especially now that Rio Ferdinand seems to have turned his back on ever playing for England again.
It’s undoubtedly a loss to Everton as a club that they have lost Neville, but it’s a chance for Jagielka to step up and prove he can be as natural a leader in his absence next season.
What it means for Moyes' future is your guess entirely.
Would he make a good captain? Does this mean Moyes will stay?
image: © wonker