Football

United new boy will cope with fee

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Having moved to Manchester United from Middlesbrough for a then British record fee for a defender, Gary Pallister knows what it's like to cope with the pressure of a high-profile transfer.

Sir Alex Ferguson paid £2.3 million to bring Pallister to Old Trafford in 1989 and the imposing centre-back - alongside Steve Bruce - went on to form one of the most dominant defensive partnerships in United's history.

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have since trumped the successes of Pallister and Bruce, while Ferguson has already made moves to build the next partnership in United's prestigious defensive dynasty.

Chris Smalling was acquired by the United boss from Fulham last year and will be joined at the Theatre of Dreams next season by his England under-21 colleague Phil Jones.

The latter was signed from Blackburn for the sum of £16.5 million, and Pallister believes the 19-year-old will manage the burden of his hefty price tag - just like he did 22 years ago.

"I know what pressure is," said Pallister. "[The price tag] did bring a pressure because it puts the spot light on you and because of the fees if you put a foot wrong or start going through a patch of bad form you will get done for it in the media.

"But [Jones] is ticking all the right boxes right now and he looks very assured. It will take a little bit of time to get accustomed to playing at Old Trafford and playing alongside some of the legends there.




 

"He's 19, I was 24 when I moved, so that is a whole different ball game. It's a very young age, but the manager is not afraid to put his faith in youngsters with ability as we've seen in the past."

"Smalling proved this year he's got what it takes to be a Manchester United player; Jones has still got to come to Old Trafford and prove that he can make that next step up but he's certainly got all the talent all the attributes you need. But they have got to break up the Ferdinand/Vidic partnership first and foremost; I don't think that is done yet.

"In the future I don't see why they can't form a great partnership. The secret is playing together; it's games. It's just an understanding when you play games together, you keep playing games you will understand the way your partner plays."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United

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