Jagielka - Stars have to stay
Phil Jagielka says it is vital Everton retain their star players if they are to challenge the top four.
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 27/06/09 3:03pm
Everton defender Phil Jagielka insists it is vital The Toffees retain their star players this summer if they are to challenge for a top four place.
The Merseysiders finished fifth in the Premier League ladder last season, nine points adrift of fourth placed Arsenal, who clinched a place in next term's UEFA Champions League qualifiers.
One of Everton's stand-out defenders Joleon Lescott has been linked with a £15million summer move to big-spending Manchester City following yet another impressive campaign at Goodison Park.
Jagielka believes it is no secret that David Moyes needs to bolster his numbers this summer and that losing any of their stars, including Lescott, would severely hinder their top four ambitions.
"Joleon's been fantastic. It was nice to see him play for England again, so that tells you enough. He's a massive part of our team. We don't want him to go," he told Sky Sports News.
"I'm sure the club don't want him to go. But unfortunately the way football is at the moment if someone is going to splash ridiculous money at you we'll see how it goes.
"It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of our players were subject of bids. But hopefully, we're financially we're stable enough to reject all them and build on the squad we've got rather than take it apart.
"I think we've not got the biggest of squads. I think everyone knows that. We can't afford to be letting our main players go. We've got to bring a few more players in. We're not going to break into the top four while letting our best players go."
Meanwhile, Jagielka says his rehabilitation from knee surgery is on course after visiting a specialist earlier this week, although he will know more in a month's time following a second more thorough trip.
"Everything's fine. Everything's on schedule," he continued. "It's a long process. It's starting to get to me a little bit, but I've got to keep smiling.
"I'm going to see the specialist properly in about in four more weeks and he'll give me more of an idea of how well or how not well it's doing."