Phil Jones has spoken of his huge admiration for David De Gea and the retiring Michael Carrick, ahead of Manchester United’s final Premier League game of the season against Watford on Sunday.
“We were delighted for David, because he deserves it,”said the Preston-born defender.
“He's incredible and thoroughly deserves the Golden Glove. In his first season he came under a lot of criticism for his stature and size, but it’s the way he's conducted himself; the way he's improved and learned and progressed as a player.
“Maybe a couple of years ago there was a debate about whether he was or was not the best goalkeeper in the world, but I don't think there's any question about it now. He's been on a learning curve [since arriving in 2011]. He's older, he's wiser and has adapted with age. He's very vocal on the pitch now and his English is very good. He's a good leader and communicator and you certainly need that from a goalkeeper.”
Asked for his favourite De Gea saves, Jones simply responded,
“There are so many!”but eventually settled on a whip-sharp effort at Sunderland away in 2013 to deny Italian forward Emanuele Giaccherini.
Ten saves that made David world no.1Video
“I said to David last night, 'You’ve got me to thank!'”
Jones hopes that the club's final home match of the season, against the Hornets on Sunday afternoon, can be a celebration of De Gea’s award and for the career of Carrick, who is due to make his 464th and final appearance in the famous United shirt.
The must-watch tributes to CarrasVideo
“I'm sure Carras will get a great send-off,”said the centre-back.
“He's been an unbelievable player for this club. I remember being at the Players' Awards dinner the other night and on the big TV screen you saw the trophies that he'd won and even I didn't realise he'd won that many!The talent he showed on a football pitch was incredible. He'd see passes that I didn't even see on the pitch, and I was stood behind him watching. His vision and his range of passing was superb and he had a calming influence on the game. He could control games at his leisure. He's been a wonderful player and a wonderful guy and hopefully he'll get the send-off that he deserves.