Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says Phil Jagielka won for his “proper team” at Everton.
Jagielka came on in the 64th minute at Goodison Park to help seal a 2-0 win for the Blades against his former team.
It was the defender’s first return to the Toffees since leaving the club for Bramall Lane this summer. Jagielka spent 12 years on Merseyside having joined from boyhood side United in 2007.
Therefore the 37-year-old could be forgiven for having mixed emotions following the result, but Wilder says the England international was only focused on victory for the Blades.
“The decision to get Jags onto the pitch was to give us that little bit more experience,” the United boss told BBC Radio Sheffield.
“Class from Evertonians, the way they and our supporters appreciated his efforts.
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“He wanted to come back here and get a result with his first team – his proper team, I would say. He certainly did that.”
Another Sheffield United player enjoyed Everton return
Jagielka wasn’t the only former Toffee coming back to his former team. John Lundstram continued his excellent start to the season with another fine performance.
Lundstram came through the youth system at Goodison, but never made a first team appearance. Now aged 25 the midfielder has finally been given the chance to prove himself in the Premier League by Wilder.
“You go back to your club and it’s not the easiest thing to do. Everybody is looking at you – how’s your career gone? They all know,” the 51-year-old continued.
“I thought he was outstanding, absolutely outstanding.”
It has been quite the turnaround in form from Lundstram. Last term he was very much a bit-part player, making just 10 Championship appearances as the Blades finished second and were promoted.
Yet Lundstram has started every league match so far this campaign, already playing more minutes than in the entirety of 2018/19.