PHIL JAGIELKA believes “quarterback” Darron Gibson’s Manchester United upbringing can help orchestrate Everton’s challenge for Champions League qualification.
Gibson was an impressive performer as the Goodison outfit moved back into the top four with a dramatic last-gasp home victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
The Republic of Ireland international, a £500,000 signing from United in January, has yet to taste Premier League defeat while on the field for David Moyes’s men.
And stand-in skipper Jagielka is convinced Everton are reaping the benefits of Gibson’s grounding at Old Trafford.
“Gibbo is massively important for us,” said the centre-back. “It’s important to have someone who can keep the opposing defence on their toes purely knowing if he does get a bit of time, he can be like our quarterback and start putting in some fantastic passes.
“Maybe Gibbo hasn’t scored that many since he has been here, he’s not a dribbler and not what you’d see as fancy dan sort of player.
“But if you filmed his role in the team and watched it back there’d be some fantastic passes, great tackles and some clever football.
“He came from a great club in Man United and it proves that way with the time he finds on the ball and the confidence he has in those long-range passes.”
Gibson returned from almost three months out with a thigh problem to help Everton emerge unbeaten from a triumvirate of games against leading trio Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham.
And Jagielka added: “It makes playing against us a lot harder when you have people like Darren in the team and Leon Osman by the side of him. They are two different footballers but equally as important.