Manchester United may well have been sent crashing out of Europe last week, but in Phil Jones they have one of England’s brightest central defensive prospects for many years.

Signed from Blackburn in the summer, Jones has become a regular in the Manchester United defence, particularly due to the absence of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic through injury. He made his debut for Manchester United in the Community Shield against Manchester City, helping them to a 3-2 victory.

…through his attacking moves…

Whilst noted for his towering height and strength, it is through his attacking moves that Jones has also come to prominence. In the game against Bolton earlier this season playing at right-back, he dribbled through the Bolton team helping to set up Wayne Rooney. In the game against Chelsea, his ability to get into the box and cause panic helped to set up Rooney again. These attacking qualities make him add to a player who is already an exciting prospect for the future.

Internationally, Jones made his debut in the final Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro, where his performance was praised by Fabio Capello. This was despite him playing at right-back, and, whilst this versatility will serve Manchester United and England well, it seems that it is at centre-back where Jones will be most usefully deployed. His powerful attacking play will always create chances, and defensively, his commitment and strength will provide cover for both Manchester United and England. Jones also possesses good leadership skills, and is developing a knack of scoring goals and helping to create chances – indeed he got a crucial goal in the Champions’ League group stage fixture against Basle last week.

…need some replacements…

How far can Phil Jones go in his football career? Well, England will soon need some replacements for the aging John Terry, and the increasingly injury-prone Rio Ferdinand.At Manchester United, there is a great chance for both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to forge a partnership capable of marshalling both the Manchester United and England defence. Phil Jones is adequately poised to fill both of these roles, and also has the potential to be a future captain for both squads in time.

Manchester United and England fans wait with interest to see how this bright young talent develops in the coming years.

Image courtesy of Phil Jones

 

About The Author

A 3rd year Theology student at King's College London.

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