Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes 19-year-old new signing Phil Jones has the talent to break into the first team immediately.

Jones, who cost £16.5million from Blackburn, will face competition at centre-back from Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, as well as fellow up-and-coming defender Chris Smalling, but he has played for Rovers as a holding player in central midfield too.

Ferguson told club magazine Inside United: "We first identified Jones when he played for Blackburn's youth team against us a couple of years ago when they beat us 3-0. He was absolutely magnificent. You might think he might not play, but the ability he's got and the determination he's got, he could quite easily play. He's the future obviously, but he could certainly come in right away."

Ferguson revealed he intends to start with Ashley Young as a left-winger though will consider him in a number of positions, and also backed goalkeeper David de Gea to fill the void left by the retired Edwin van der Sar.

The Scot added: "Ashley can play in more than one position. He can play wide right, left, even behind the striker, so we have options there. But, initially, we'll start him as a wide left player."

In relation to De Gea, he added: "We worked hard to get the deal done because it wasn't easy.

"Atletico Madrid obviously regarded him very highly. But we managed to get it done and we're delighted he joined us.

"The past is the past and Edwin is part of the past. He had an incredible career with us. He was an incredible goalkeeper. But, hopefully, the future belongs to David de Gea."

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Topics:
#Chris Smalling
#Blackburn Rovers
#Edwin Van der Sar
#Phil Jones
#Premier League
#Alex
#Manchester United
#Nemanja Vidic
#Ashley Young
#Rio Ferdinand
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