Sir Alex Ferguson is in no doubt that Phil Jones is future captain material at Manchester United.
Last summer's signing from Blackburn Rovers looked set to skipper the side for the first time against Ajax in the Europa League, only for Ji-sung Park to emerge from the tunnel with the armband, but his time leading from the front will come.
"He’s definitely a future captain," stated Sir Alex. "There’s no doubt about that. I said that from the minute he came to us that I thought there was something about the boy."
Jones missed the matches against Athletic Club and Wolves following a bout of 'flu but played a full 90 minutes for the Reserves against Aston Villa and was an unused substitute in the Barclays Premier League victory over Fulham. After breaking into the England side, it has been a splendid season for the popular 20-year-old, with some of his early performances drawing perhaps unfair comparisons with the late Duncan Edwards.
"He was doing great until he started getting all these injuries and a bit of illness with 'flu," said Sir Alex. "That kind of thing has derailed his time with us as he and Chris Smalling have had a nightmare, the two of them.
"If they can stay fit for the rest of the season, it'll be a big bonus for us because they are exceptionally good young players."