Everton and England's Phil Jagielka impressed by youngsters
Everton defender Phil Jagielka
has spoken of the positive effect three of England’s Young Lions are having on the side during pre-season.
U20s players Ross Barkley
and John Stones
each played 45 minutes in the 3-1 win for The Toffees at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday – with Luke Garbutt
also making an appearance as a late substitute.
Jagielka told evertontv: "It was fantastic to see Ross come back and enjoy himself and play well. The same goes for John.”
The trio all appeared for Peter Taylor’s U20s side in Turkey last month and Jagielka says their enthusiasm for the game is benefiting all at Goodison Park.
Barkley had loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United last season, and Jagielka is glad to see him back wearing blue.
He added: “The manager's got quite a few young lads to look at and that can only make us stronger."
Everton have shown attacking intent in pre-season since the arrival of FA Cup winning manager Roberto Martinez
from Wigan Athletic, and Jagielka believes the new man is thrilled with the potential at the club.
He said: "We're still building up for the start of the season and hopefully when you speak to me in a few more weeks we'll be converting even more chances and looking more solid at the back.”
Jagielka, who played in England’s 2-2 draw with Brazil last month, added: “"It's always nice to be scoring goals and the most important thing is to be creating chances.
“The manager is excited with the potential he sees and that is the state of play at the moment.”
The Everton squad arrived in San Francisco early on Monday morning for a three-match tour of the USA – where they will also play fixtures in Los Angeles and Miami, before flying back to England for the start of the new season.