Phil Jones may be under the shadow for a typical neutral football fan.

Yes, they will know he showed great potential at Blackburn Rovers and they might know he has shown good ability through at his time at Manchester United. But what they might find perplexing is how Sir Alex Ferguson can label him as a player who will be an Old Trafford great.

With only 17 appearances to his name in the Premier League this season, he has hardly been instrumental to United’s title success; however, Jones possesses great footballing ability and a natural understanding of the game.

It is these characteristics that will make him a true great of the Manchester club.

Jones has all the natural characteristics that youth brings to the game: energy, enthusiasm and vigour. However, what sets him apart from most other talented youngsters is his great physical build and phenomenal understanding of the game.

Jones is only 21-years-old but possesses the body of an ox; an ox that is immovable and intimidating. From his build he gets great physical power and, as a result, can dominate opponents all over the pitch.

When he is on the ball, opponents struggle to gain possession because he can simply outmuscle them and when he is not on the ball he is a giant of an obstacle for opposition attackers to simply weave past him.

These qualities hold him in good stead for the physical nature of the Premier League , which is becoming increasingly more athletic, and players are becoming  even stronger.

So, Jones is a mighty beast of a player who can dominate those players around him - as seen against Real Madrid in which he and Michael Carrick made sure Cristiano Ronaldo was shackled for much of the game.

But it is also his understanding of the games that sets him apart from his peers. Experience is gained, but Jones plays like he has playing professional football for a good 10 years.

Testament to this is his versatility. Ferguson has deployed him at right-back, centre-back and defensive midfield, trusting his intelligence and instincts to perform the role effectively - and for the most part he has done.

Although there are glimpses of vulnerability in his game, this is only natural, but it won’t be long before his potential is unleashed on the world stage. 

His leadership qualities, grit and determination make him a stand out candidate for captain as he reaches maturity. He can influence the game just through his sheer physical presence and intelligence at reading the game.

Although he has yet set the Premier League by light it is only matter of a time. Based in his more natural position of centre-back he can go on to be a world-class defender and hopefully go on to lead England, too.

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