Burnley and Aston Villa stars Michael Keane and Jores Okore named among best 15 young centre-backs in Europe

Michael Keane England

The two were joined by Phil Jones, who topped the chart.

This week saw the Swiss football stats company CIES Football Observatory name their 15 best under-23 players for each outfield position in Europe.

In the centre-back area, there was certainly good reading for Manchester United, Burnely and Aston Villa fans.

The site has concluded that the best centre-back under 23 in Europe is none other than Manchester United's Phil Jones - which will no doubt dumbfound his critics.

He came out ahead of Jose Gimenez and Raphael Varane of Atletico and Real Madrid respectively.

But while Jones was likely to be in the top 15, two other names who have found themselves in there might come as a surprise.

First of all there is Burnley defender Michael Keane. The former Manchester United youngster has performed well for Burnley this season, despite them being relegated yesterday. He has played in 22 games for the club this season.

Then there is the Danish defender Jores Okore. The 22-year-old only broke into the team in November and has gone on to be a revelation for the Villans.

So it seems that Burnley and Villa both have real talents on their hands, even if they are down the wrong end of the table.

The future looks bright for both young defenders.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch