Phil Jones is an animal: Manchester United defender backed to play up front by Sir Alex Ferguson

Step aside, Van Persie: Fergie backs 'animal' Jones to play as STRIKER

-Why-did-Roy-Hodgson-Phil-Jones–Martin-Samuel.html” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>Baresi of England. It seems Sir Alex Ferguson agrees!

'Jonny's been really brilliant this season,' Ferguson told Inside United.
'He's 25 years old now and, hopefully for the next six or seven years,
he could be a regular centre back for us.

'Obviously, Rio (Ferdinand) is
34 now and (Nemanja) Vidic is 31. (Patrice) Evra is 31 so, in that
sense, players like Smalling, Jones and Evans will come to the fore.

'Jones is going to be a fantastic
player, his talent is unbelievable. Yes (his best position is
centre back) but you could play him anywhere. I think you could play him
centre forward! He’s just that type of player.

John O'Shea

Phil Neville

Utility men: Before Jones, John O'Shea and Phil Neville both once played many important roles for Ferguson

'He’s
an animal for football. He grasps the game, he understands it. Play him
right back Brilliant. Play him centre midfield No problem. Play him
centre back Terrific.'

United players were preparing themselves for the Manchester derby on Monday, which could see Jones start in midfield.

Competition: Robin van Persie (second left) could soon be vying for a place up front with Jones... or maybe not

Competition: Robin van Persie (second left) could soon be vying for a place up front with Jones… or maybe not

Under threat: Danny Welbeck (right) hasn't scored many goals this season but Rio Ferdinand has done his job at the back

Under threat: Danny Welbeck (right) hasn't scored many goals this season but Rio Ferdinand has done his job at the back

Phil Jones

Robin Van Persie

Unusual: Jones (left) is extremely versatile and Ferguson is predicting big things for him

Ferguson continued: 'He’s just one of those unusual players you get now and again who can play anywhere. We’ve not had a player like him in terms of someone who can play at that performance level since, well the closest you would get would be Brian McClair.

'Now, Brian McClair was a fantastic player. He could play anywhere, McClair. I remember kidding him on once; I said to him, just go and play in the right-back area and he laughed.

'I said to him, “What are you laughing at” and he said, “Next week I’ll be centre half.” But that was his character, so composed about life. Nothing bothered him.'

Trend setter Brian McClair was also an important figure for United

Trend setter Brian McClair was also an important figure for United