Jagielka backs Barkley for 'important' World Cup role

The Everton captain has backed his team-mate to shine in Brazil as he highlights the youngster's progression under Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park this season
Everton captain Phil Jagielka has backed club-mate Ross Barkley to play an "important" role in England's World Cup campaign.

Barkley is one of a number of young and inexperienced players in the squad - along with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana - as Roy Hodgson puts his faith in a more youthful generation of players.

33/1 Ross Barkley is 33/1 with William Hill to be England's top scorer at the World Cup
And Jagielka - who is also in the squad - is expected to be first-choice centre-back alongside Chelsea's Gary Cahill and believes Barkley will be key to England's chances in South America.

"Ross is a fantastic player," he told Sky Sports News. "He's very frustrating to play against because he has got a tremendous amount of ability.

"I'm not 100 per cent sure what role he will have during the World Cup but I'm sure it will be a very important one, whether he'll be starting or coming off the bench.

"He's grown not only as a player but as a person in the last 12 months. You can see the confidence of playing week in, week out has helped his game develop.

"We still must not forget he is only 20 years old and hopefully there will be a lot more World Cups and a lot more international appearances for Ross in his career.

"But no doubt we as a nation will get a little bit carried away this year in the World Cup and hopefully we'll be shouting about Ross at the end of it."