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Jones, above, demonstrates the type of qualities that attracted the interest of United.
Jones, above, demonstrates the type of qualities that attracted the interest of United.

Who the hell is... Phil Jones

He’s on the brink of a big-money move to Old Trafford. But who exactly is Mr Jones?
Jun 9th 2011, 2:31 PM 283 0

IN ANOTHER INTRIGUING day of transfer movement, Blackburn’s Phil Jones’ move to Man United has been all-but-confirmed.

United fans looking to know more about this young upstart seeking to steel Rio Ferdinand’s thunder need look no further than our guide to seven things you probably didn’t know about Phil Jones.

Precociousness

Jones was born in 1992, meaning he is just 19 years of age, and was only three when Blackburn famously won the Premiership for the first and only time back in 1995.

He has spent the past 10 seasons at Blackburn, having joined the club’s youth team back in 2002.

Background

Like most young people his age, Jones still lives with his parents, owing primarily, it seems, to their impressive culinary skills.

“I haven’t really thought about moving out,” he says. “If I did I would probably just end up back there most nights for my meals anyway.”

Acclaim

Wayne Rooney is clearly a fan of the 19-year-old star. Yesterday, he tweeted: “Phil jones is a good young English player. 1 of the toughest defenders I played against last season. Can play midfield to.”

He soon added:  ”I don’t know if phil jones is signing for us just saying he is a good player that’s all. I haven’t got a clue if he is signing or not.

Career

Jones made his debut as a 17-year-old, coming on as a substitute in Blackburn’s Carling Cup win over Nottingham Forest at the beginning of the 2009/2010 season.

He was subsequently given the man-of-the-match award for his performance and went on to make a further 11 appearances that season.

Injury troubles

Jones established himself as a first-team regular in the Blackburn side last year, until a knee injury against West Ham in December threatened to put an end to his season prematurely.

Jones returned to the side in March however, and ended the season having made 27 appearances in the league and cup.

Support

Ex-boss Sam Allardyce has shown support to Jones in the wake of his move to United. Allardyce praised the youngster’s mental strength, pointing to his Premiership debut as evidence for this assertion.

“He made his debut – I think it might have been against Chelsea – against Drogba, and I think he might have actually won man-of-the-match that day.

“It shows that his mental strength was always going to be good enough and that’s one of the biggest factors if you’re going to be a top, top player I think.”

Further Interest

Jones also attracted the interest of several other Premiership clubs before his eventual move to United. Despite failing to sign the player, Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp heaped the plaudits on Jones, saying: “I think he is a lad who can one day go on to be an England centre half and maybe a captain of England. I think he is that good.”

And on the evidence of his career thus far, Jones looks more than capable of being a future England captain. Then again, Alan Hansen also once said the same about Wes Brown, so who knows?

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Paul Fennessy

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