• Premier League

Fergie: Jones can become Utd's greatest ever

ESPN staff
April 23, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

Sir Alex Ferguson has tipped Phil Jones to become the greatest player in Manchester United's history.

Jones, 21, played in the centre of defence as United defeated Aston Villa 3-0 to clinch their 20th league title. And now Ferguson, a champion 13 times in his distinguished career, believes the versatile Englishman, who can also operate at right-back and in midfield, could leapfrog players such as Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best to rank as top the list of United legends.

Billy Meredith, Duncan Edwards, Bryan Robson, Roy Keane, Peter Schmeichel, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo are others who rank among United's finest footballers

But Ferguson said: "Jones, arguably the way he is looking, could be our best ever player. I think Jones may be one of the best players we have ever had, not matter where we play him. At 21 years of age, he is going to be a phenomenal player. I think he can play anywhere on the pitch.

"He has such a massive influence, with his instinct and reading of the game. He has a drive about him."

Ferguson also feels United's other young players offer great encouragement for the future.

He added: "Rafa [Rafael da Silva] is incredible. That impetuosity has left him playing with greater maturity now, as the season has progressed. David de Gea has developed fantastically well.

"I think we have a nucleus of players who are young enough we expect them to improve. It's not asking too much of players to improve."

Ferguson was left elated on Monday as United clinched the title, describing Robin van Persie's second strike - a dipping first-time volley from Wayne Rooney's 40-yard ball - as "the goal of the century".

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