Liverpool legend's advice to Moyes: No need to spend when you have…

Phil Jones

A club icon at Anfield has said that Manchester United do require signings, just not in one key area - here's why:

Manchester United have numerous positions that need reinforcing over the next few transfer windows with some commentators even remarking that up to four acquisitions are required in order for the reigning Premier League champions to return to a competitive outfit.

An accomplished playmaker and a peak-form left back are both, according to consensus, mandatory positions that need filling with United allegedly tempted to place a £37m bid for Chelsea's creative midfielder Juan Mata while one of Luke Shaw, Alberto Moreno or Fabio Coentrao may be fancied for the left back role.

While veteran centre back partnership Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand both have contracts that are due to expire in the summer, there is the question of whether manager David Moyes sticks with what he has in Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling or twists and purchases a player like Ezequiel Garay.

For Liverpool legend and current pundit Jamie Carragher, the answer to any defensive problem does not lie in the market, but in the active roster as Phil Jones could become beastly in the middle of the rearguard.

Speaking to Sky Sports recently, Carragher, 35, had more: 'Everyone talks about midfield, they have Jones in there, but what I'd like to see United do is put Phil Jones at centre back so we can see what this lad is really like.

'Let's see whether United need a CB in the summer or not. Why buy one when you have maybe a great one already?'

NameMins/ TackleMins/ InterceptionMins/ Eff ClearanceMins/ Accurate PassMins / TouchAppsMins
Jones 34.49 35.50 15.68 2.29 1.38 14 1,207

Jones no doubt has both physical and technical attributes capable of playing either role, in midfield, or in defence, as the data above demonstrates - he attempts a tackle every 34 minutes, an interception every 35 minutes, is responsible for clearing the ball once per 15 minutes, completes a pass every 2.2 minutes and has a touch of the football every 1.3 minutes.

However, if Jones were to be deployed consistently in the heart of defence, would that just force Moyes to recruit an additional central midfielder?

One of the things Sir Alex Ferguson respected in his staff, was versatility - which is why players like Phil Neville and John O'Shea were kept around at Stretford. While Jones has talent, he can feature in both positions.

But it is up to Moyes to find out which role suits him more.

image: © nasmac

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