After Manchester United completed the signing of Eric Bailly for £30 million earlier this month, the future of Phil Jones at the club looked bleak.
The centre-back only played 10 times in the Premier League last season after his campaign was riddled with injury, allowing Chris Smalling and Daley Blind to form a partnership in that position.
Jones made just seven starts during the entire season which ultimately cost him a place in England’s Euro 2016 squad.
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With Bailly arriving at Old Trafford, many assumed Jose Mourinho would pair the Ivorian with Smalling ahead of next season.
However, the Portuguese manager has other ideas, it seems. Not only has the Special One assured Jones of his United future, he believes the 24-year-old can be the club’s version of John Terry.
That's according to the Mirror who believe that Jones will be a big part of Mourinho's plan next term.
Terry compared to Jones
It’s certainly a big statement from Mourinho. Terry has made 703 appearances for Chelsea, winning four league titles, five FA Cups, a Europa League and a Champions League.
In comparison, Jones has played 141 times for United since signing from Blackburn Rovers in 2011, winning an FA Cup and a Premier League trophy.
It’s clear that Jones has a long way to go to emulate Terry’s career but getting Mourinho’s backing will give him the confidence.
But first, Jones must get ahead of either Smalling or Bailly to earn himself a regular starting position - something that could prove incredibly difficult.
Although United finished a disappointing fifth place in the league last season, their defensive record was something to be proud of. Louis van Gaal’s side only conceded 35 goals in 38 Premier League matches - meaning they had the joint meanest defence with Tottenham.
If Jones can have just half the career Terry has had, Mourinho would have done a very good job.
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