Jones can be one of the greats - Fergie
Published 23/04/2013 | 16:06
Sir Alex Ferguson has tipped Phil Jones to become one of Manchester United's greatest ever players.
Jones has endured a difficult season at Old Trafford, suffering a couple of injury absences that have restricted him to just 16 starts in all competitions. Yet his value to United has been in evidence over the last two months.
"Jones is going to be a phenomenal player," said Ferguson. "He has a fantastic influence, no matter where he plays."
Whether it was keeping Real Madrid quiet after being handed a defensive midfield role in the Bernabeu, subduing Stoke from his right-back station or strolling through Monday night's Premier League-title clinching effort against Aston Villa at centre-half, Jones has excelled.
The last player capable of filling such a wide variety of roles was John O'Shea. And ultimately, that versatility prevented the Irishman from holding down a regular berth in Ferguson's team. At 21, one senses that will not happen to Jones. It is just that Ferguson himself does not know where his talents are best suited.
Ferguson added: "He has an instinct for the game and a drive about him.
"I have no idea where his best position is. He could play anywhere on the pitch. But he will be one of the best players we have ever had."
High praise indeed, underlining why Jones has previously been compared to Duncan Edwards, who was only 21 when his life was tragically cut short in the Munich air crash.