Yesterday's confirmation of Phil Jones' arrival at Old Trafford on a five-year deal was greeted with plenty of excitement, not least from current Manchester United defender and England U21 teammate Chris Smalling.
The 21-year-old stopper was quick to highlight the pair's shared ambition of developing a formidable centre-back partnership over the coming years for both club and for country.
"I've really enjoyed playing with him and it's hard to think he's only 19, so hopefully we can play together for a few years," he said.
"We've trained together these last couple of weeks and that togetherness showed right until the last minute against Spain," reflected Smalling after England’s 1-1 European Championship Group B draw with Spain.
Early indications suggest that Sir Alex Ferguson has pulled off another astute signing with Manchester United's long-term future very much in the forefront of his mind.
Both players have already displayed similar qualities that echo the existing Old Trafford guard, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand – who have built one of the most successful defensive partnerships in Barclays Premier League history.
The rugged Jones will compliment the slightly more fluid Smalling, just as Vidic's steel assists the silk of Ferdinand. "I'd like to think we've both got a bit of both," argued Smalling.
Monday's announcement that formalities have been completed over a deal that sees Jones swap Ewood Park for Old Trafford for an initial £16.5million fee, saw fans flock to his official twitter page to welcome him to Manchester United.
Jones responded to the splurge of messages with the following statement, "I'd just like to start off by saying that I've loved my time at Blackburn and I will always be a huge fan.
"But this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am looking forward to a new challenge. Thank you for all your kind messages."
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