FOOTBALL NEWS

23/04/2013 10:26, Report by B Hibbs & S Bartram

Jones central to success

Amid the giddy excitement of Monday's title-clinching celebrations at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson enthused about the current quality of his squad and its potential for improvement, and in Phil Jones he says "arguably, the way he's looking, he could be our best ever player.”

That's some statement considering the talent the United manager has witnessed, but his finest servant to date, Ryan Giggs, believes Jones will be "outstanding" for years to come.

The 21-year-old’s display in the heart of United’s defence against Aston Villa was another excellent showing at centre-back. Jones has also featured at right-back and in central midfield in his short Reds career, but Giggs viewed Monday's accomplished display as a spoiler for the path the youngster’s career will ultimately take.

“He was outstanding tonight,” Giggs told Sky Sports. “Phil is one of those players who's that good he can play midfield or right-back, but I think tonight you've seen his position. Every time he plays at centre-half he's outstanding.”

In just two seasons at Old Trafford, Jones has sampled searing highs and sapping lows, and Giggs says the former Blackburn Rovers defender will benefit from a well-rounded education.

“He's such a young lad, that he'll only get better and better, and experiences like last year and this year will help him,” said the 39-year-old. “Disappointment can also help you in some ways. There are a lot of young players in there who have learned from last season and have gone on and played really well consistently this season, which is hard for a young player.”

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