Manchester United legend Paul Scholes believes former teammate Phil Jones is ‘not clever enough’ to play centre-back for club or country.
Jones lined up at right-back for England in their friendly against Ireland this afternoon at the Aviva Stadium, and speaking to ITV before the match, Scholes said he thinks it will be his long-term position.
Jones has been used at centre back and as a central holding midfielder for both England and Manchester United, but Scholes believes he is not disciplined enough tactically to fulfil those roles at the highest level.
“I just think at centre-back, when he is playing against clever forwards, he tends to get dragged out of position quite easily,” Scholes said.
“At right back you still need to be clever positionally but I think he can use his pace and power and he hasn't got a bad delivery either.
“When he first came to Manchester United he was a right back, he played right back all the time. He has got strength and power and he can get up and down the pitch.
“I just think at centre-half he is not quite clever enough to do it.”
Jones has been used in several positions because of his versatility, but many believe his long-term future belongs in the centre of defence.
It would be fair to say that the former-Blackburn Rovers youngster has not quite come on as hoped after Sir Alex Ferguson signed him as a teenager and described him as potentially one of the club’s greatest players in the future.
He has struggled for fitness and form at Manchester United, but reminds a firm favourite of Roy Hodgson’s for England and is likely to feature against Slovenia in their next match.
What do you think? Is Scholes right about Jones?