Two Everton players had a key role in Kieran Dowell making the move to Sheffield United.
Dowell joined the Blades on loan from Goodison Park during the January transfer window. The midfielder has since played eight times for the club.
Yet it turns out that Dowell turned to two Toffees teammates who knew United well before deciding to join Chris Wilder’s side.
“Before I came, I spoke a lot with Dom (Calvert-Lewin) and also Phil Jagielka, both know this club inside out and I still speak nearly every day with Dom,” the 21-year-old told the official website. “I spoke to him about the city, the club and he spoke really highly of both, I’ve been through quite a lot with him in a relatively short time.
“Jags had a bit more to say, he’s been a two-club man with Sheffield United and Everton and he still speaks fondly about the Blades, so that helped.”
The players behind the deal
Calvert-Lewin and Dowell are the same age, becoming teammates in the summer of 2016 when Everton signed the former from Bramall Lane.
The forward is from Sheffield and came through the academy, but had made just 12 appearances for the Blades before the Toffees spotted his talent and swooped.
Jagielka, of course, was much more of a stalwart for United. Another youth product the England international spent seven years in the first team in South Yorkshire.
Jagielka played 247 times for the Blades before moving to Merseyside in 2007 following relegation from the Premier League. The 36-year-old has since gone onto make 380 appearances to date for Everton.
Calvert-Lewin remains an important part of the Toffees’ first team plans and future. Jagielka, meanwhile, has become a more periphery figure with only two matches to his name this season.
There have been rumours of a return to United for the defender and in the summer of 2017 Wilder said he would welcome the move.
“He’s gone from here to have a wonderful career and if we wants to come back and play here for a couple of years we’d be delighted,” the Blades manager was quoted by the Liverpool Echo.