Football

Ferguson calls Manchester United star an 'animal for football'

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Sir Alex Ferguson has heaped praise on Manchester United defender Phil Jones, calling the England international an 'animal for football'.

The United boss believes Jones is so versatile that he could play as a centre-forward. 

The former-Blackburn defender has played at centre-back, right-back and in midfield this season, and Ferguson thinks his adaptability is a real asset for United.

Speaking to Inside United as reported by ESPN, Ferguson said: "Jones is going to be a fantastic player, his talent is unbelievable. 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 would get would be Brian McClair."

McClair joined United as a striker from Celtic in 1987, but spent most of his time at Old Trafford in defence.

Ferguson continued: "Now, Brain McClair was a fantastic player. He could play anywhere. I remember kidding him on once; I said to him, just go and play in the right-back area and he laughed.

"I said to him, 'What are you laughing at?' and he said, 'Next week I'll be centre-half.' But that was his character, so composed about life. Nothing bothered him."

The 21-year-old England international has flourished at right-back, but Ferguson sees his long-term position in the centre of defence.

Jones's season has been interrupted by injury this term, but there's no doubt he has a big future ahead of him at Old Trafford.

United face Manchester City in the Premier League next, as they look to continue their march towards another league title.

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Topics:
Football
Phil Jones
Premier League
Manchester United

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