Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed Phil Jones' versatility and branded him 'an animal for football'.
The 21-year-old England international was snapped up by United from Blackburn Rovers in 2011, with his potential clear for all to see. His development has been furthered at Old Trafford, with Jones having become an important figure in Ferguson's present and future plans.
The United boss has now paid tribute to his rising star, with there few players in his mould currently turning out in the Premier League. Ferguson told Inside United: "Jones is going to be a fantastic player. "His talent is unbelievable. His best position is centre-back but you could play him anywhere. I think you could play him centre-forward. He's just that type of player.
"He's an animal for football. He grasps the game, he understands it. Play him right-back? Brilliant. Play him centre midfield? No problem. Play him centre-back? Terrific. "He's just one of those unusual players you get now and again who can play anywhere. We've not had a player like him in terms of someone who can play at that performance level since - well, the closest you could get would be Brian McClair."Future Ferguson has also praised the progress made by Jonny Evans over recent years, with the Northern Irishman another Old Trafford academy graduate to have become an integral part of the senior set-up.
The Scot added: "He's 25 years old now and, hopefully, for the next six or seven years, he could be a regular centre-back for us. "Obviously, Rio (Ferdinand) is 34 and (Nemanja) Vidic is 31. Patrice Evra is 31 so, in that sense, players like (Chris) Smalling, Jones and Evans will come to the fore."