Phil Jones looks like a very complete defender. He seems to be very comfortable playing at the highest level and it would be no surprise to see him in the Manchester United first team and England senior team for many years to come as he develops as a person and as a young professional.
The biggest positive for United is the fact that he provides the side with valuable cover. He is not going to jump straight back into the team ahead of Rio Ferdinand or Chris Smalling because he has only been back for one match but his fitness means Sir Alex Ferguson can rotate his central defenders to keep them all fresh.
He is also very versatile and can play anywhere along the back four. This allows Ferguson to slot him into any position if the side is short in one particular area of the defence. It makes him an asset because he is always available and will now be the replacement right back for the side if Rafael gets injured as it’s become quite obvious that Antonio Valencia is not a full back.
His all round game is superb which means Jones can deal with any type of striker. He is big and strong enough to deal with a Drogba-esque striker trying to bully him throughout a game but he is quick and nimble enough to be able to step out of the defence to try and steal the ball off of a dangerous player which instantly releases the pressure on the side.
He is also a leader in the defence which is key in terms of organisation. At times this season the United defence has actually looked quite comical in the respect that certain players will step up to play offside while others will sit and hold their position which often leaves gaps and space to be exploited. Jones will help eradicate this from United’s defensive play.
He’s also a very good defender in the air and his heading is one of the best parts of his game. At times against Galatasaray he looked like a little bit of a mad man as he dived into headers around the pitch where it looked as though he may get his head kicked off. This sort of basic natural urge to defend is something that will benefit United greatly over the next few weeks.
He’ll be hungry and very determined because he has started the season so late and far behind his teammates. This ensures that his determination will be sky high in every single game that he plays from this point forward. Fingers crossed that this rubs off on the rest of the United defence and team.
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