Everton goalkeeper Tom Howard has named Phil Jagielka has his favourite team-mate as the labels the captain a special player and one he could always count on, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Howard is to end his remarkable 10-year stay with the Toffees this summer after agreeing a move to Major League Soccer side Colorado Rapids last January.
The 37-year-old joined the club from Manchester United following an initial loan spell, and he has since played under two different permanent managers and a host of different players.
But when quizzed on his favourite Everton team-mate during his time at Goodison Park, after some consideration the US shot-stopper named club captain Jagielka.
“That’s a tough one. I’ve played with so many. But being a goalkeeper and having Jags as a captain, as a guy I could always count on… If I could pick one guy that I would always have with me it would be him. He is special,” Howard told the Liverpool Echo of his captain.
Jagielka has also been among Everton’s longest servants, joining the club from Sheffield United in 2007.
Howard has enjoyed plenty of good times in an Everton shirt, helping the club to a succession of top six finishes under former boss David Moyes plus a trip or two to Wembley.
However, with his influence waning, Howard has featured less this season and his imminent return to the States comes as little surprise. His final game will be against Norwich City at home on Sunday.