Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the most respected names in football. He was, however, far off the mark in his assessment of Phil Jones.
“Jones, arguably his appearance, could be our best player ever,” Ferguson said after winning his last Premier League title and Manchester United in May 2013.
“I think Jones is maybe one of the best players we’ve ever had, no matter where we play him.
“At 21, he’s going to be a phenomenal player. I think he can play anywhere on the pitch.
“He has such a huge influence, with his instinct and his reading of the game. He wants him.
Eight years after these huge claims made by the legendary boss, Jones is deeply in disgrace at Old Trafford and is currently playing for their Under-23 team.
But Fergie isn’t the only one who thinks the former Blackburn center-back would achieve great things.
“I was not surprised at the way Phil Jones has settled into life at Manchester United a bit,” former Blackburn boss Steve Kean said in December 2011.
“When I first saw Phil at the academy, I thought ‘this boy is a gamer’.
“I have always hoped that he would be captain of our club. Now that he’s at Manchester United I’m sure he will be their captain and England.
He made a resounding start to his Red Devils career, breaking into the England squad soon after.
Jones won the Premier League in his second season as a Man United player and also won the FA Cup and Europa League winners’ medals.
Yet during his decade at the club he has largely been a huge ridiculous figure with Man United fans often blaming him for poor results in recent times.
His sometimes unconventional ways of defending (like tackling Olivier Giroud with his head) and his rather comical facial expressions in the game have led to the creation of several internet memes at his expense.
Jones himself seems to know some fans can’t take him seriously. He turned down the possibility of having a testimonial match at Man United due to doubts about anyone’s participation.
However, there is still fire in Jones’ stomach despite his disgrace. He refused to return his No.4 jersey for new recruit Raphael Varane this summer.
Still, Jones’ critics use him as another stick to beat the Manchester United defender.
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