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Jagielka: Gerrard Can Be Our Pirlo

Everton defender Phil Jagielka believes that ageing midfielder Steven Gerrard can play a similar role as Italy's Andrea Pirlo.

The Liverpool and England captain recently missed the end of the season due to surgery and will be 34 by the time the World Cup in Brazil rolls around.

Jagielka, though, believes that Gerrard will change his game from his lung-busting midfield approach to a slower passing game, like Pirlo.

"There's tough competition for places in pretty much all positions," he told reporters. "There isn't anyone who has it nailed down, apart from possibly Stevie but it's a big year for him as well.

"He's getting that bit older and I see him changing his game for England a bit. He's still got the range of passing. Pirlo doesn't move around much but still gets in and makes things happen. If Stevie does that and doesn't run around as much – with his range of passing – that could make us stronger."

England are set for friendly matches with the Republic of Ireland and Brazil and Jagielka believes that anybody could get the nod in those games.

"I wouldn't like to put money on who will be in the starting XI," he added. "Look at the centre-backs we have – and even the full-backs aren't guaranteed these days. I look at that as a positive."

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