Duncan Edwards is widely regarded as one of Manchester United’s greatest ever players and one of the most complete players to ever play the game.
This was a man who was capable of creating and scoring goals as well as being able to tackle and defend brilliantly. In an interview with FourFourTwo, Sir Bobby Charlton said: "When I arrived at United I was told there were a lot of good players, but Duncan was the only one who could do things I knew I wasn’t capable of."
A glowing reference like that from United’s greatest ever player tells you how highly regarded he was.
Comparisons have been made between Phil Jones and the great Duncan Edwards due to Phil’s ability to play across a number of positions and his power and athleticism, all of which, Edwards became famous for. These comparisons may be a little premature.
Although Phil has put in some fantastic performances, like in the recent game against Real Madrid in which he kept Cristiano Ronaldo reasonably quiet, he has also showed a lack of experience such as in the game against Newcastle last season in which he conceded a comical own goal in a 3-0 demolition. This inconsistency could be in part due to his tender age.
On the other hand, Jones could also be likened to John O’Shea, who played for United from 1999 to 2011 and enjoyed much success during his time at the club. Also capable of playing in a variety of positions across the defence and in midfield, and a physically imposing player, likenesses could be made. Over the years O’Shea put in some impressive performances for the Red Devils, scoring some vital goals along the way.
The question remains - who does Phil Jones resemble more? Is it the former legend Duncan Edwards or the former utility man John O’Shea? In my opinion the answer lies somewhere between.
Phil is a talented young individual capable of playing in a number of positions effectively including centre-back, right-back and central midfield, although that could ultimately delay his progress, as it is yet unclear what his best position is.
He could find opportunities at right-back limited as Rafael da Silva seems to have made that position his own this season, so he may look to partner Michael Carrick in central midfield.
If he puts in more performances like he did in the one against Madrid the other week, who knows, one day he might be mentioned in the same breath as the great Duncan Edwards.
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