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Why Manchester United’s signing of Phil Jones is risky, but also a masterstroke.

Sid Sunday, June 19, 2011

Note: The article is a contribution from my friend Chris, an hardcore Everton and Juventus fan. The guy keeps up with almost every major football league in Europe and knows his Football. This is his take on our signing of Phil Jones, and its impact on the rest of the team. Hope everyone enjoy the read.

Manchester United have kicked off their preparations for the new season after winning the Premier League title by signing Blackburn starlet, Phil Jones. Jones arrives at Old Trafford for a fee of an estimated 16.5 million. Many have questioned the risk of investing this much money on a player like Jones who is relatively young, and also whether he can live up to his price tag. Jones though, certainly has the potential to do so, having become a first team regular for Steve Kean, Jones has managed to become a strong centerback, touted to be the ‘next John Terry’. He has earned him a call-up to the England U-21 team and has been a mainstay there. This is where my reason of believing a masterstroke of a transfer happened begins.

Phil Jones is partnering Chris Smalling at the U-21 level, and also this is possibly the future defensive pairing for Manchester United if things go according to plan. Manchester United though, won’t need Jones to step into the centerback role just yet, at least not regularly, as Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are currently one of the best Centerback pairings in the world, and are not showing any signs of slowing down. 

Ferguson’s signing with Phil Jones not only is a future investment for the team to secure their center-back partnership, but also  Jones’s versatility gives him options in midfield and defense if he needs to field different teams out.

Jones has also received recognition from his at the time future Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney, who labeled him as ‘one of the toughest opponents’ he’s ever faced.  To further add to that, Jones was pivotal alongside Christopher Samba in central defense, as the duo did their best to ensure that Blackburn were guaranteed  another season of Premier League football. 

Jones’ arrival at Old Trafford might be for the future but it also brings up new questions for Sir Alex Ferguson, such as is Jonny Evans’ future at Man United over? Will Darron Gibson be offloaded? Jones has the ability to play those positions that the above can, plus with a rumored 10.5 million singing of Raphael Varane on the cards, you have to wonder who and what are in Sir Alex Ferguson’s future plans.

Phil Jones’ future though, will heavily be intertwined with Sir Alex Ferguson’s, at 69 he doesn’t seem to have the intention to stop being a manager for a long time, but there will be a day when he leaves, and the future of Jones will depend on their new manager.  Jones’ transfer alongside Varane show that the manager isn’t ready to let his team go down like a brick in the sea and with the retiring Scholes, Jones what lacks the creativity and vision, he makes up for it in being a strong battling defender who can play in the middle of the park. 

He offers the grit and tenacity in midfield that United were looking to get from Owen Hargreaves. He might not be at the same level as him, but can certainly do a decent job there. With Varane supposedly coming in too, and genuine interest in Inter and Netherlands International Wesley Sneijder, this Manchester United squad could be looking quite different by September 1st.

Possible United lineup next season
With Phil Jones already joined, this could be just the beginning of an interesting few weeks for the Scottish manager, as he’ll soon have a dilemma on his hands on who to let go. Furthermore, with Jones’ transfer, Carrick’s days at Old Trafford could also be limited, If United invests in the likes of Modric or Sneijder, and they’ll need a defensively capable player alongside in midfield. So Jones’s move to United has the ability to shift the whole Manchester United team as well as force the manager’s hand to sell some of his players. Jones is risky, but he is also showing the signs and potential of a Sir Alex Ferguson transfer masterstroke.


aaramz said...

Jone's an exciting talent. Can't help but admire his perfomance against Hernandez last season. Glad we got him.

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