Total Football Scout - Phil Jones
In this Total Football Scout, Marcus Banks examines one of Manchester United and England's brightest youngsters: Phil Jones. After moving to Manchester United in the sort of inflated fee that typifies transfer activity involving young English players, Jones has coped better than most with the pressure.
Marcus has a look at what the former Blackburn man has done so far.
NAME: PHIL JONES
CLUB: MANCHESTER UNITED
SQUAD NUMBER: 4
WEIGHT: 72 KG
MARKET VALUE: £16,000,000
HE’S A BIT LIKE: DUNCAN EDWARDS
Phil Jones impressed Sir Alex Ferguson enough in Blackburn’s 7-1 defeat to United for the Scot to fork out nearly £17 million for his services. The 19-year-old signed a 5-year-deal at Old Trafford and made his first appearance in a pre-season friendly against Chicago Fire.
His competitive debut came in the Community Shield against Manchester City appearing as a substitute for Rio Ferdinand. Jones made his league debut a week later again replacing Ferdinand against West Brom. Following an injury-hit start to United’s defence, Jones started against Tottenham playing the full 90 minutes alongside Jonny Evans.
In September, Jones started the game against Bolton at right-back and provided two assists for Wayne Rooney in the 5-0 demolition. He also embarked on an impressive run beating several defenders before his shot was blocked by the goalkeeper. Jones’ versatility was starting to show as once again another driving run created another Rooney goal against Chelsea in the 3-1 win.
The Englishman then started as a box-to-box midfielder against Liverpool, a position he was unaccustomed to. He then netted a goal in the wrong end against Benfica in the Champions League when the ball cannoned off him into his own net. However, he scored his first senior goal in December against Aston Villa when he met a cross from Nani to side-foot a volley into the back of the net.
His next goal was a consolation against FC Basel which led to the Red Devils being knocked out of the Champions League. Jones then suffered a facial injury against Fulham but returned in the 3-2 defeat to his former club Blackburn. Jones has shown that he is incredibly adaptable but can sometimes get caught out of position. He is fast and powerful and has the potential to cement his place at the heart of the United and England defence.
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