In the wake of Manchester United claiming their 20th league title with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Aston Villa, Sir Alex Ferguson dropped a bombshell which is no doubt set to get people talking.
“Jones, arguably the way he is looking, could be our best ever player,” Sir Alex said.
“I think he may be one of the best players we have ever had, no matter where we play him.
“At 21 years of age, he is going to be a phenomenal player. He has such a massive influence with his instinct and reading of the game. He has a drive about him”
Ferguson’s comments about the young England international may have shocked many United fans – but why?
The Preston born utility man has been an integral part of United’s title winning squad playing in no less than three different positions and to his credit, he hasn’t looked out of place in any of them.
United signed Jones from Blackburn Rovers for a reported fee of £16.5m in July 2011. Seen as a future replacement for Nemanja Vidic, Jones was expected to play a minor part in United’s 2011/12 campaign but with injuries in all departments of the pitch, Jones went on to make 41 appearances in a season that most reds would rather forget.
Jones has had his ups and downs this season though due to injuries, which has limited him to just 21 games for United in this campaign, but when he has played, he has been extremely effective.
The first thing which stands out about Jones is his versatility. He has played right back, centre back and central midfield this season which for a player of his age is pretty remarkable because you don’t usually see Sir Alex Ferguson putting that much faith in such a youngster.
His strength and power makes him a potential box to box midfielder but his reading of the game makes him a strong contender to replace the likes of Rio and Nemanja. And his power and eagerness to win the ball makes him an ideal back up for Rafael at right back. With Phil Jones, you’re guaranteed to be spoilt for choice.
But the main thing that stands out to me about Jones is his passion. He has been touted in the past couple of years as a future Manchester United and England captain and it’s easy to see why.
His passion for the game and Manchester United is clear. He gives 110% until the 90th minute. Going into every tackle like his life depends on it. Going up for every header like it’s the World Cup final. It’s this sort of passion which could potentially, like Sir Alex said. ‘make Jones one of the clubs greatest ever players’.